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Wadjda (2012)

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An enterprising Saudi girl signs on for her school's Koran recitation competition as a way to raise the remaining funds she needs in order to buy the green bicycle that has captured her interest.

Director:

Haifaa Al-Mansour (as Haifaa Al Mansour)

Writer:

Haifaa Al-Mansour (as Haifaa Al Mansour)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 22 wins & 33 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Reem Abdullah Reem Abdullah ... Mother
Waad Mohammed ... Wadjda
Abdullrahman Al Gohani Abdullrahman Al Gohani ... Abdullah (as Abdullrahman Algohani)
Ahd ... Ms. Hussa
Sultan Al Assaf Sultan Al Assaf ... Father
Alanoud Sajini Alanoud Sajini ... Fatin
Rafa Al Sanea Rafa Al Sanea ... Fatima
Dana Abdullilah Dana Abdullilah ... Salma
Rehab Ahmed Rehab Ahmed ... Noura
Nouf Saad Nouf Saad ... Koran Teacher
Ibrahim Almozael Ibrahim Almozael ... Toy Shop Owner
Mohammed Zahir Mohammed Zahir ... Iqbal - the Driver
Sara Aljaber Sara Aljaber ... Leila
Noura Faisal Noura Faisal ... Abeer
Talal Loay Talal Loay ... Abeer's Young Man
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Storyline

WADJDA is a 10-year-old girl living in a suburb of Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. Although she lives in a conservative world, Wadjda is fun loving, entrepreneurial and always pushing the boundaries of what she can get away with. After a fight with her friend Abdullah, a neighborhood boy she shouldn't be playing with, Wadjda sees a beautiful green bicycle for sale. She wants the bicycle desperately so that she can beat Abdullah in a race. But Wadjda's mother won't allow it, fearing repercussions from a society that sees bicycles as dangerous to a girl's virtue. So Wadjda decides to try and raise the money herself. At first, Wadjda's mother is too preoccupied with convincing her husband not to take a second wife to realize what's going on. And soon enough Wadjda's plans are thwarted when she is caught running various schemes at school. Just as she is losing hope of raising enough money, she hears of a cash prize for a Quran recitation competition at her school. She devotes herself... Written by Razor Film Produktion GmbH

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, brief mild language and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Language:

Arabic

Release Date:

16 May 2013 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

La bicicleta verde See more »

Filming Locations:

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$41,253, 15 September 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,347,578, 26 January 2014
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Saudi Arabia's first official submission to the Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film (2014). See more »

Goofs

Wadjda kicks Abdullah's crate on its side and he starts putting his things back into it, but after the cut to another angle, it is instantly standing upright. See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Venice Film Festival 2012 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

121 solo
Written by Adam Fox and Stephen Day
Published by Sonoton Music GmbH & Co. KG
With kind permission of Sonoton Music Gmbh & Co. KG
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Saudi Movie= I'm instantly curious
21 September 2013 | by motezartSee all my reviews

The total lack of films that come out of Saudi Arabia made Wadjda, a Saudi film by Haiffa Al- Mansour, instantly alluring. Haiffa Al-Mansour is already accredited as being the first successful woman filmmaker in Saudi Arabia's history.

This is very much Al- Mansour's film. She charms the viewer with the common everyday struggles of the Saudi woman, and rather than address the issues in a combative way, her approach is warm, even cute. This draws us in to her characters and provides us with some heartfelt laughs along the way.

The precocious 10-year Wadjda is growing up in Riyadh where she wants nothing more than a shiny new bicycle, but not only is she a little short on riyals, in Saudi Arabia women do not to ride bicycles. Saudi moral code bans woman from driving, going out in public unveiled, living unaccompanied, leaving the country alone, and opposing their husbands' orders in any way.

Small details make grand impressions: In an all girls school teenage students paint their toenails, a sin, and are publicly vilified for it. The mere possibly that workmen half a mile away might see school girls playing in their courtyard forces all the girls to rush inside, lest they be judged impure. Pubescent girls are considered impure and must use a tissue just flip the pages of Koran.

Wadjad's truly beautiful mother spends much of her time perfecting her appearance only then to have to then cover herself with a full hijab. She is never openly defiant; defiance is impossible, but even thought she is obeying age old traditions that we'd assume would have dulled any emotional protest, through the mother's submission we get a brief glimpse of her distress, the natural human emotional distress that no amount of "aged tradition" or religious subjugation has the right to inflict on any human being.

In a country where cinemas are banned, Riyadh is not exactly a city where women can just go around shooting films. Females mixing with male co-workers would bring dire consequences. Al-Mansour shot the film anyway, directing much of it from the back of a van, and the result is a film representing the triumph of the defiant feminine spirit, in all forms.

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