Understanding the challenges of growing up female and Saudi in the Muslim World – A fun, entertaining and engaging movie about daily life in the Arabian Gulf.
The movie WADJDA, is about growing up female in Saudi Arabia. It’s a clean, engaging, touching look at life in Saudi Arabia and filmed in it’s entirety there – A first for a foreign film. (In fact, the extras on the DVD are almost as entertaining as the movie!) The acting is top-notch and touchingly believable.
The movie is about Wadjda, a young, not especially religious, girl who still plays on the street and dreams of owning a bike so that she can race a young friend. Her father is often away and her mother basically functions as a single parent. The expectations of culture and family are clearly on view, surprising for a movie film in Saudi Arabia since it’s not all positive. Wadjda is working class, which means she is always wheeling and dealing to get ahead. The film focuses on the working class (both Saudi and immigrant worker) rather than the rich or entitled.
I won’t give away too much more of the film (which is subtitled), but I would highly recommend it for both young and old seeking to better understand culture and life in the Arab Gulf as well as the pressures of modern society.The film has already won a number of foreign film awards and positive reviews.
I believe it is also available on Netflix and on Amazon Instant Video.