Haifaa Al-Mansour / SA, DE, US, AE, NL, JO, 2012 / 98 min.
An eleven-year-old girl in Saudi-Arabia is saving up for the green bicycle she dreams of buying. Mansour’s portrait of a guileless young girl that defies social and religious conventions without knowing it was internationally acclaimed. Mansour is part of a new generation of female Arab filmmakers.
Wadjda lives in prosperous Riyadh. She dreams of being able to buy the green bike that has been staring at her from the shop window for such a long time. Her mother tries to make Wadjda understand that women are not allowed to cycle, but Wadjda will not take no for an answer. She saves up all her money so she can race boyfriend Abduallah on her green bike.
The first long feature film from Saudi Arabia, a coming-of-age story that integrates the clash between old and new values, was acclaimed worldwide. Mansour – the country’s first female filmmaker – was invited to international festivals where she put talented Arabic female filmmakers in the spotlight.
Wadjda was partly inspired by Mansour’s own childhood experiences and received a number of awards, including the Art Cinema Award at the Venice Film Festival.
SA, DE, US, AE, NL, JO
Women Make Film
Last year, Eye presented the film programme Women Make Film, an alternative world history of cinema featuring women in the lead role. Women have played an important role from the early days of cinema, as cinematographers, filmmakers and sometimes also producers.