· The film ·
Wadjda is a ten year old girl who lives on the outskirts of Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. She is bright, loving, good natured, curious and full of life, even of the life that is not permitted for women in her country. Above all, Wadjda’s dream is to have a bicycle, a bicycle that not only can her parents not afford but which they feel is unsuitable for a female. But Wadjda does not give up. She sets out to find the money, even committing herself to a competition on the Quran, at her very strict girls school, though she has no "predisposition" for religious subjects. The green bicycle (2012) by Haifaa Al-Mansour, Saudi Arabia's first female director, has several merits: it is the first full-length feature film shot entirely in the kingdom, it addresses and exposes the terrible oppression of women by men (and of women by women) without anger or a sense of self-pity, but instead through the eyes of a child. A vibrant and determined little girl who does not accept the rules imposed upon her. A child who attaches her name with a hairpin to the official family tree that dominates her living room which up until then was composed exclusively of men’s names .Wadjda’s freedom does not strain so much towards the object desired, but as to the path she went on to achieve it. A path that will also change her mother, who as a woman imbued with a radically traditional social mentality, learns to understand her daughter. And to stand by her side. (giulia galeotti)
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