Wadjda – New Movie Releases for 2013
At The dahlia pages we’re always on the lookout for new movies that not only are fun to watch but are also of unique political or social import, and this new movie definitely has our interest peaked!
With women’s rights issues and the gender wars raging in Australia, not to mention the Arab Spring and the much publicized violence against women in India, it’s quite clear that equality between the sexes is still a reality yet to be realised rather than a war already won. And nowhere is this true more than Saudi Arabia where women are still not allowed to drive and the mere acquisition of a bike is a trial if you were born a girl.
Synopsis of the new movie ‘Wadjda’
The first film ever shot entirely in Saudi Arabia, and the first Saudi feature directed by a woman, ‘Wadjda’ is the story of a fun-loving, entrepreneurial 10-year-old girl living in a suburb of Riyadh. When Wadjda sees a beautiful green bicycle for sale, she wants it desperately, but her mother won’t allow her to have it, fearing repercussions from a conservative society, so Wadjda decides to raise the money herself. Just as she is losing hope, Wadjda hears of a cash prize for a Koran recitation competition at her school… ‘Wadjda’ won three awards at the Venice Film Festival, and was named Best Film at the Dubai International Film Festival last year.
Awards for Wadjda:
2013 – Palm Springs International Film Festival (Directors to watch)
2012 – Dubai International Film Festival (Muhr Arab Award), Best Feature Film, Best Actress (Waad Mohammed)
2012 – Venice Film Festival (CinemAvvenire Award, C.I.C.A.E. Award and Interfilm Award)
About the Director
Haifaa Al-Mansour is the first female filmmaker in Saudi Arabia and is regarded as one of the most significant cinematic figures in the Kingdom. She finished her bachelor’s degree in Literature at the American University in Cairo and completed a Master’s degree in Directing and Film Studies from the University of Sydney. The success of her three short films, as well as the international acclaim of her award-winning 2005 documentary ‘Women Without Shadows’, influenced a whole new wave of Saudi filmmakers and made the issue of opening cinemas in the Kingdom a front-page discussion. Within the Kingdom her work is both praised and vilified for encouraging discussion on topics generally considered taboo, like tolerance, the dangers of orthodoxy, and the need for Saudis to take a critical look at their traditional and restrictive culture. Through both her films and her work in television and print media Al-Mansour is famous for penetrating the wall of silence surrounding the sequestered lives of Saudi women and providing a platform for their unheard voices.
So if your looking for great new movies to watch this year give Wadjda a go.
Info taken from The Doha Film Institute.
Other new movies this year include the new movies The East and The Conjuring.