The most rewarding movies are the ones that take you into an unfamiliar world, with rich characters and a unique story. And the upcoming “Wadjda” not only does that, but it brings a big heart to go with it, and at the center of it all, a dynamic lead performance by the young and thoroughly charming Waad Mohammed. So needless to say, this is one we highly endorse, but in case you need more convincing, here’s the new U.S. trailer for the film.
The Saudi Arabian film is the first to be directed a Saudi woman, and Haifaa Al-Mansour makes the most of her debut effort. The film follows the titular Wadjda, a mix-tape making, Converse wearing girl whose dreams far exceed the expectations put on women in the country. But for now, she’d just be content to ride a bike with her friend Abdullah (Abdullrahman Al Gohani). When her mother refuses to buy her one, the entrepreneurial Wadjda doesn’t give up. After getting a store owner to promise he won’t sell the one she wants, she begins raising the money to get it on her own, and enters a Koran trivia competition where the top prize will allow her to buy the bike and then some.
It’s a simple story, but one that allows Al-Mansour to investigate the lives of women in the country. A subplot, which the clip below plays against, centers on Wadjda’s mother (Reem Abdullah), who fears her husband may take a second wife to bear him a son, and she’ll do all she can to remain the only woman in his life.