Synopsis: 10-year-old Wadjda wants a bike so she can race her friend the problem is for Saudi girls cycling isn't seen as an appropriate past time and neither is hanging around with boys. Determined and undeterred she sets about getting the money to buy a bike with a Koran competition offering her the best chance of a lump sum.
Stan's thoughts: Saudi Arabia doesn't have cinemas and therefore doesn't have a film industry as such so this is a big deal for that reason but also because it's directed by a woman. But that isn't why I loved this film. I loved it because first and foremost it's a lovely, heart-warming, funny and tender story. Any political and cultural statements it makes are subtle but all the more powerful for it.
In a society where women are in the main kept hidden, it is the women that dominate this film, they are strong and hard working. And at the centre of the story is Wadjda (played brilliantly by Waad Mohammed) who at a tender age is already banging up against sexual inequalities but she is determined and industrious in her own way and the feel good factor of this film serves a double purpose, it offers a hope of change, however subtle that might be.
If it doesn't get nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars there is something very wrong.Ratings
- Stan's: 92%
- IMDB: 77%
- Metascore: No score yet
- Rotten Tomatoes: 100% but no consensus yet (audience rating is 92% based on 342 votes)