Frustrated by the strict rules imposed upon girls in her home in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 10 year old Wadjda’s rebellious temperament often lands her in trouble. After a fight with a neighbourhood boy, Abdullah, who she shouldn’t be playing with, Wadjda falls for a beautiful bicycle she sees on her way home and tries everything in her power to raise the money to buy it, despite disapproval from her mother and teachers in a society where riding bicycles is frowned upon for girls. Luckily, her school’s Koran recital competition, with its promise of a cash prize for the winner, gives Wadjda the opportunity she had been hoping for.
This beautiful and moving film is the first feature film to be directed by a Saudi Arabian woman. Facing incredible adversity, Haifaa Al Mansour completed filming on Wadjda in Saudi Arabia despite strict restrictions on men and women working together (to overcome these difficulties, she even called some of the shots of the film from inside a van!)