7.5/10
18,256
139 user 171 critic

Wadjda (2012)

Trailer
2:04 | Trailer
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 »

Videos

Photos

Edit

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
Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A determined young Saudi doctor's surprise run for office in the local city elections sweeps up her family and community as they struggle to accept their town's first female candidate.

Director: Haifaa Al-Mansour
Stars: Mila Al Zahrani, Dae Al Hilali, Nora Al Awad
The Orphanage (2019)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A 15-year-old ticket scalper in Kabul dreams of Bollywood until the Soviets force him into a state facility.

Director: Shahrbanoo Sadat
Stars: Anwar Hashimi, Quodratollah Qadiri, Sediqa
The Play (2005)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

When nine peasant women from a mountain village in southern Turkey decide to write and perform a play based on their life stories, aspects of their personalities emerge that they never knew existed. Esmer's documentary observes the creative stages leading up to the production of the play, and shows us how nine subtly but significantly different women emerge after its staging.

Director: Pelin Esmer
10 to 11 (2009)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

10 to 11 is the story of a passionate collector Mithat and the concierge of the building, Ali. For Mithat Istanbul is as vast as his collections and for Ali is nothing more than a few ... See full summary »

Director: Pelin Esmer
Stars: Nejat Isler, Mithat Esmer, Laçin Ceylan
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A Dutch girl of Bosnian descent travels to Bosnia to visit her sick father. It will be the first time they will see each other.

Director: Ena Sendijarevic
Stars: Sara Luna Zoric, Lazar Dragojevic, Ernad Prnjavorac
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

This is a documentary about a passionate collector. A man who has been collecting for 70 years, collecting everything one can imagine. A man who lives in his own house like a guest of his ... See full summary »

Director: Pelin Esmer
Stars: Mithat Esmer
Crystal Swan (2018)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In 1990s Belarus, a wanderlust young DJ is derailed by a typo in a forged US Visa application, forcing her to a backwater village where she is determined to fake her way to the American dream.

Director: Darya Zhuk
Stars: Alina Nasibullina, Ivan Mulin, Yuriy Borisov
Watchtower (2012)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A man and a woman seeking refuge from the world: Nihat at a remote forest fire tower, Seher in her room at a rural bus station. When their lives collide, each now has to fight their battle of conscience before the other.

Director: Pelin Esmer
Stars: Olgun Simsek, Nilay Erdönmez, Laçin Ceylan
Ema (2019)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A couple deals with the aftermath of an adoption that goes awry as their household falls apart.

Director: Pablo Larraín
Stars: Mariana Di Girolamo, Gael García Bernal, Santiago Cabrera
Animation | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Paola is born in a traditional Colombian family, or at least that is what they try to be. Her father is a priest, her mother is a "psychic" and her sisters are not what their parents ... See full summary »

Director: Santiago Caicedo
Stars: María Cecilia Sánchez, Martina Toro, Alejandra Borrero
The Load (2018)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Vlada works as a truck driver during the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999. Tasked with transporting a mysterious load from Kosovo to Belgrade, he drives through unfamiliar territory, trying ... See full summary »

Director: Ognjen Glavonic
Stars: Leon Lucev, Pavle Cemerikic, Tamara Krcunovic
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In her early thirties, broke, and in the wake of a humbling breakup, a spirited, yet rudderless young woman finds herself struggling to get by in the bustling Parisian metropolis; however, if she can make it there, she'll make it anywhere.

Director: Léonor Serraille
Stars: Laetitia Dosch, Souleymane Seye Ndiaye, Grégoire Monsaingeon
Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

When Wadjda adds her name to her father's family tree, the position and shape of the scrap of paper changes between closeup and wide shots. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards (2014) 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
See more »

User Reviews

 
A complex story told simply and well
13 October 2012 | by PoppyTransfusionSee all my reviews

The director Haifaa Al-Mansour tells the tale of a child called Wadjda whose wish is to have her own bicycle so that she might race against her friend and neighbour Abeer. The only problem is that Wadjda is a girl and girls in Saudi society do not ride bikes, which are considered "boys' toys" ... As we follow Wadjda in her quest to find the money to purchase the bicycle she sees being delivered on the roof of a van, we are introduced to her society and its culture and, in particular, its treatment of girls and women. Al-Mansour's portrayal of her country is shown without heavy judgement, although the bitter sweetness of being female is not concealed.

Filmed on location in Saudi Arabia, a feat in itself in a country that does not have a film industry as films are considered sinful, Wadjda's desire represents the wish for female freedom; her lack of a bicycle is mirrored in the adult women's inability to drive, prohibited for women in Saudi Arabia, and the problems this creates for them. So the child's desire to ride a bike becomes a metaphor for freedom, which is the central theme in the film.

This is a subtle tale full of character, charm and complexities and not at all as one might expect. The young girl who carries the film, Waad Mohammed, is terrific and it is hard to believe that she was not an actress before appearing in this feature.

Does Wadjda achieve her desire and get her bike? Is she able to race it along the dusty roads as free as her friend Abeer and the other boys? Well, you will have to watch the film for the answers and in watching the film will support the director and the nascent film industry emerging from within Saudi Arabia.


78 of 89 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 139 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Language:

Arabic

Release Date:

16 May 2013 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Wadjda See more »

Filming Locations:

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$41,253, 15 September 2013

Gross USA:

$1,347,747

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,499,169
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed