7.5/10
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98 user 165 critic

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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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

The first feature length film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia. See more »

Goofs

When Wadjda takes the bread out of the oven, mic equipment is visible on her waist, under her T-shirt. See more »

Connections

References The Matrix (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Tongue Tied
Performed by Grouplove
(P) 2011 Atlantic Recording Corp.
Courtesy of WARNER MUSIC Group Germany Holding GmbH, A Warner Music Group Company
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An Optimistic Tale of Triumph Over Adversity
11 December 2013 | by l_rawjalaurenceSee all my reviews

WADJDA is a straightforward tale of a young girl Wadjda (Waad Mohammed) growing up in a suburb of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, who wants to buy a bicycle. Unable to find the money to do so, she enters a competition to speak the Koran in public with a substantial cash prize. After considerable time spent studying the text, she wins the competition, but sadly doesn't receive the money. In the end, however, she achieves her dreams - but not in the way she expects. Haifaa Al-Mansour's film is noteworthy for being a woman's film directed by a woman; it shows in careful detail the ways in which women's lives are constructed in Saudi Arabia, as well as showing how influential the Koran is in determining people's behavior. Some viewers might think that the women's lives are unfairly restricted; the film suggests that this is what many women believe is the right thing to do. By doing so, WADJDA shows how different people embraces different concepts of Islam. On the other hand, the film also suggests that individuals - especially children - should have at least some means to express themselves, particularly when they have worked to hard to achieve their aims. To restrict them is also to repress them; and this ultimately leads them to accept subordination as a way of life. WADJDA proves that the opposite should be true; not only for Wadjda herself but also for her mother (Reem Abdullah).


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