Review: Wadjda


Wadjda has received a lot of hype as the first film from a female Saudi director. It’s an amiable film about a young girl who doesn’t conform to the strict order of her society. “Don’t laugh”, she’s told. “Laughter is a woman’s nakedness”. Wadjda (Waad Mohammed) wants to own a bicycle, but girls aren’t supposed to ride bikes, leaving her to cunningly figure out a way to get the most simple childhood possession. The young actress is played with a wily courage. Occasionally things feel didactic and cumbersome but it’s an uplifting and good-hearted story which brings emotion out of the most simple idea. It’s certainly a worthwhile film which seems so unambitious but given its cultural context, it’s really nothing of the sort.

Review by David Rank

RATING: 3/5

Wadjda is out now in the UK. Running time 98 mins. Certificate PG (UK).

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