Bill I’s Review – 4 out of 5
I believe it’s the first film by a female director in Saudi Arabia, and an excellent one. It’s centered on a 10 year old girl, Wadjda, in her middle class life going to a religious, all-girl school school (of course), so fascinating to see the everyday life. Wadjda is different from the norm however, although to our eyes she’s a typical pre-teen who listens to rock music, doesn’t care much about school work, and follows her own interests. Her main interest here is to earn enough money to buy a bike. Problem is that girls don’t ride bikes over there, as everyone tells her including her stern principal and distracted mother. Wadjda has such a determination and is so captivating that this seemingly simple plot carries the film, and in an understated way, shows how girls are second class people. At ten, they have to come to terms with that they can’t be seen in public by men without their veils, they can’t keep their husbands from taking a second wife, in fact they can’t control who they are married to. The actor playing Wadjda is fantastic, I highly recommend if you can find this film. It’s not overly dramatic, somewhat comedic, and ultimately inspiring.