Haifaa Al Mansour Film Screening: Wadjda
Wadjda is the first feature film shot entirely in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where cinemas are not permitted. Directed by that country's first woman filmmaker, University of Sydney graduate Haifaa Al Mansour, the story follows a 10-year-old girl who wants nothing more than to own a bicycle. Though growing up in a conservative world, Wadjda (a remarkable Waad Mohammed) is fun-loving and rebellious.
One day she sees and covets a beautiful green bicycle. But her mother won't buy it, fearing repercussions from a society that sees bicycles as dangerous to a girl's virtue. So Wadjda decides to raise the money herself, and becomes determined to win the cash prize for a Koran recitation competition at her school. She devotes herself to the memorisation of Koranic verses, and her teachers begin to see her as a model of piety.
A groundbreaking and important film, Wadjda is filled with hope, and is as entertaining as it is gently subversive. Says Al Mansour: "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."
Watch the trailer for Haifaa Al Mansour's film Wadjda.
Read our interview with Haifaa Al Mansour about creating this pioneering film.
Event info: Haifaa Al Mansour Film Screening: Wadjda
Date: Friday 7 June; Saturday 8 June
Time: 6:00PM (Friday); 12:00 PM (Saturday)
Venue: State Theatre, 49 Market Street, Sydney
Haifaa Al Mansour's appearance at the festival is supported by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney.