In this Saudi-German co-production Haifa al-Mansour tells the story of a schoolgirl’s daily life: 11-year old Wadjda wants a bicycle, but this simple wish exemplifies the boundaries of freedom for women in Saudi-Arabia. Meanwhile her relatively independent mother is afraid her husband might marry a second wife and the bigoted headmistress organizes a Qur‘an recitation with prize money – Wadjda’s chance to finally get a bike. Shot in the streets of Riyad, the film’s reference to De Sica’s Bicycle Thief is also a stylistic one. It is the first feature film by the country’s first female director.
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