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

Wadjda

Watch it on:

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.

Up Next

Wait Until Dark

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?"