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8/19/2013

New Trailer for Saudi Arabian Film 'Wadjda'


Although many will be drawn to Wadjda because it's the first film ever by a female Saudi Arabian director, those who have caught it on the festival circuit have fallen in love with it for other reasons. Taking home three awards at Venice, and numerous others elsewhere, it marks a breakthrough debut for director Haifaa al-Mansour and young star Waad Mohammed, but it's going to need some help to make waves here in the States. 

The first domestic trailer for Wadjda has been released, and the charms of Mohammed are immediately apparent. She plays the titular character, a young girl who loves riding bicycles and making mixtapes, things that are generally frowned upon for girls in the culture she's growing up in. When she desires to buy a new bike for herself, but finding no help in getting the money for it, she comes up with a plan to raise the money by winning a competition reciting the Qu'ran.

The trailer suggests a sweet and simple story, but given the conditions women live under in the country it has the potential to be quite powerful, and we see a touch of that in a storyline involving Wadjda's mother, who fears her husband will take a second wife. Wadjda opens on September 13th.