Arabic Language Blog

Wadjda Posted by on Apr 29, 2016 in Culture

Yesterday I watched a lovely film called Wadjda! I absolutely loved it, for it is very authentic and inspirational! It tells a story of determination and success against all odds by a young Saudi girl! Small hopes that can be taken for granted for some amount to a great challenge for others. This film is very refreshing, as it tells a story of perseverance and success despite all odds.

Wadjda (وجدة‎) is a 2012 Saudi Arabian–German film, written and directed by Haifaa al-Mansour. It was the first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia and the first feature-length film made by a female Saudi director. It won numerous awards at film festivals around the world. The film was selected as the Saudi Arabian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards (the first time the country made a submission for the Oscars]), but it was not nominated It successfully earned a nomination for Best Foreign Film at the 2014 BAFTA Awards.

Wadjda, an 11-year-old Saudi girl living in the capital Riyadh, dreams of owning a green bicycle that she passes in a store every day on her way to school. She wants to race against her friend Abdullah, a boy from the neighborhood, but riding bikes is frowned upon for girls and Wadjda’s mother refuses to buy one for her daughter. Wadjda tries to find the money herself by selling mixtapes, hand-braiding bracelets for classmates, etc. Her mother, meanwhile, is dealing with a job with a terrible commute and a husband who is considering taking on a second wife, because Wadjda’s mother can no longer have children.

Wadjda decides to participate in a Quran recital competition featuring a SR1,000 cash prize which would allow her to pay for the SR 800 bike. Her efforts at memorizing the verses impress her teacher, but when Wadjda wins the competition, she shocks the staff by announcing her intention to buy a bicycle with the prize money. She is told that the money will instead be donated to Palestine on her behalf.

Wadjda returns home to find that her father has taken a second wife, and that her mother, now sporting a shorter haircut that she wanted but her husband opposed, has bought the green bicycle from the toy store. The next day, Wadjda wins her race against Abdullah.

The film is available to view on youtube!



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