Best Movies by Farr
Wadjda Poster
Released Runtime Category
2012 98 Drama
Director Language
Haifaa Al-Mansour Arabic
Waad Mohammed, Reem Abdullah, Abdullrahman Al Gohani, Sultan Al Assaf


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What's it About

Wadjda (Mohammed) is a ten-year old girl who lives in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with her mother (Abdullah) and father (Al-Assaf), who is contemplating taking a second wife. Wadjda is a rebellious spirit who listens to Western music and is often in trouble at school. She is friends with a neighborhood boy Abdullah (Al Gohani) and wants to challenge him to a bike race. But her mother (and society at large) disapproves of girls riding bikes, so Wadjda secretly plots to save enough money to buy herself a brand new one. 

Why we love it

This charming film comes with an impressive backstory: in a country with no public movie theaters, Al-Mansour became the first Saudi director (and a female one at that) to make a feature length film. Such are the strictures of Saudi society that she had to direct from the back of a van via video monitors and a loudspeaker whenever outside. However, “Wadjda” deserves notice and praise on its own merits. Al-Mansour paints a revealing portrait of life for Saudi women, and newcomer Mohammed is a revelation, giving a wholly unaffected performance that anchors the film. The beguiling “Wadjda” makes us hope to see more cinema from this part of the world.

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"