Wadjda A sharply observed and deceptively gentle film

Film classification: PG
Duration: 98 mins
Released: 2012
Director: Haifaa Al-Mansour
Country of origin: Saudi Arabia | Germany | USA | United Arab Emirates | Jordan | Netherlands
Classification: PG

Growing up in Saudi Arabia, independent 10 year old Wadjda wants to wear trainers, listen to rock music and most importantly to ride a bike. Shot entirely in Saudi Arabia this is the first feature-length movie made by a female Saudi director.

I’m so proud to have shot the first full-length feature ever filmed entirely inside the Kingdom. I come from a small town in Saudi Arabia where there are many girls like Wadjda who have big dreams, strong characters and so much potential. These girls can, and will, reshape and redefine our nation. 
It was important for me to work with an all-Saudi cast, to tell this story with authentic, local voices. Filming was an amazing cross-cultural collaboration that brought two immensely talented crews, from Germany and Saudi Arabia, into the heart of Riyadh. I hope the film offers a unique insight into my own country and speaks of universal themes of hope and perseverance that people of all cultures can relate to.  Haifaa Al Mansour


A sharply observed, deceptively gentle film, reportedly the first feature ever directed by a Saudi woman. The movie presents the facts of its heroine's life with calm authority and devastating effectiveness. With impressive agility, WADJDA finds room to maneuver between harsh realism and a more hopeful kind of storytelling. There is warmth as well as austerity in Wadjda’s world, kindness as well as cruelty, and the possibility, modestly sketched and ardently desired, of change. Buoyant.  AO Scott | NEW YORK TIMES
The film marks a huge triumph for its female director...a remarkable film twice over. Kenneth Turan | LOS ANGELES TIMES
It's always fascinating to discover what can make us happy, both as moviegoers and citizens of the world. WADJDA does the trick…funny and touching in equal measure.  Joe Morgenstern | WALL STREET JOURNAL

Respond to this


Have you seen this film?

How good was it?


Go see Wadjda at...