“The story is simplicity itself: A young girl wants nothing more than to buy a bicycle. But the rebellious Wadjda is up against plenty of obstacles, and not just the monetary kind. She lives with her mother in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh, a place where the equality lines between men and women are especially stark. Wadjda is already pushing the limits at her all-girls school by wearing bright-laced Converse sneakers instead of plain black loafers; a bicycle would be, to most eyes, another step toward disgrace. Not that that’ll stop her. Documentarian Haifaa Al-Mansour’s fiction debut is the first feature by a female filmmaker from Saudi Arabia. Forbidden from mixing with the men in her crew, Al-Mansour often directed via walkie-talkie from the back of a van. What sets WADJDA apart is Al-Mansour’s confidently light touch (this is one of the most outwardly cheery jeremiads ever made)”—Time Out. In Arabic with English subtitles. PG. 98 Min.
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