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Wadjda (2012)

Trailer
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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
See more on IMDbPro »

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

The first part of the movie shows a group of girls at school doing ritual washing before prayer. One girl wipes her ear right after washing her arm. The proper sequence is: arm, then head (hair), then ear. See more »

Connections

References The Matrix (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Dead Island
© Copyright 2012 and Published by Deep Silver, a division of Koch Media
Gmbh, Gewerbegebiet 1, 6604 Hofen, Austria.
Developed 2011, Techland Sp, z.o.o., Poland,
© Copyright 2012, Chrome Engine, Techland Sp. z.o.o.
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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.


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