Culture Street


Film review: Wadjda

On March 13, 2014

By Sophia Whitfield

Wadjda is the first film to be filmed entirely in Saudi Arabia by the countries first female film director, Haifaa Al Mansour. When filming in the more conservative areas Al Mansour had to direct from inside a van using a walkie-talkie, but her preference was always to be outside where she was more empowered to direct. At times she had to endure the displeasure of others when her job entailed mixing with men.

The story is based on a simple premise. Wadjda, a 10 year old girl. desires to own and ride a bike. Her friend Abdullah has a bike and she is desperate to race him down the street, but knows that she will incite the ire of those around her. Only boys ride bikes in the streets of Saudi Arabia. Unperturbed she embarks on a campaign to raise the money necessary to purchase her bike. She sells forbidden bracelets she has made herself to classmates and runs errands always for a cash reward.

Wadjda (Waad Mohammed) must always cover herself when she is outside in the same way that her mother does, but she finds the restrictive culture at odds with her nature. At home she listens to loud music, plays on her playstation and designs her bracelets. Known for her rebellious streak at school she surprises everyone by enrolling in a Koran competition and diligently studying in order to gain first prize. If she does win her reward will be a cash prize that will finally realise her dream of purchasing a bike.

Wadjda’s mother is less concerned with her daughter and more so with her absent husband. She is consumed with keeping her husband for herself ensuring that he does not take on a second wife.

The film is gentle in tone, lilting along with the underlying premise that change might just be around the corner.

Wadjda is released in cinemas across Australia today.


You Might Also Like


The final trailer for Insurgent has arrived

Insurgent, the thrillingly dark sequel to the New York Times bestseller Divergent by Veronica Roth, will be coming to our screens on 19 March.

On March 3, 2015


Take a first look at Shane Jacobson in ODDBALL

Shane Jacobson is back and up to hilarious antics in ODDBALL, the true story of an eccentric chicken farmer (Jacobson) who, with the help of his granddaughter, trains his mischievous...

On June 17, 2015


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 'Snow Defaced' Poster released

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY - PART 2 "Snow Defaced" poster has been released. President Snow has looked better.

On June 2, 2015


Rachel McAdams to star opposite Benedict Cumberbatch

Rachel McAdams is to star in Marvel’s Doctor Strange with Benedict Cumberbatch. There is no word yet on the character she will be playing.

On September 15, 2015

Film Review: We're the Millers


On August 14, 2013


Watch The Harrowing New Trailer For The Girl On The Train

The embodiment of true love is not quite what it seems from the carriage of a train. Watch the new harrowing trailer for The Girl on the Train, based of...

On July 21, 2016
Copyright © 2012 - 2021 Culture Street