Original title: Wadjda
German title: Das Mädchen Wadjda
Wadjda is twelve years old and lives with her parents in Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia. The lively and confident girl knows exactly what she wants - a bike for example, like the neighbour boy Abdullah. But cycling is not allowed for women and girls in the conservative Islamic country. The older Wadjda gets, the more she feels all the rules and prohibitions around her: girls must wear headscarves in public; they are not allowed to laugh out loud in the street, or play with boys, apply makeup, run around in sneakers. Wadjda likes all this and therefore often comes into conflict with her headmistress. At home, the rules are not as strict, but in public, even Wadjda’s mother adheres to the rules – she covers her face with a black scarf or goes to work by taxi every day because women are forbidden to drive cars. She therefore does not dare to buy her daughter a bike. So Wadjda is trying to raise the money herself. She spontaneously takes part in a Koran competition organised by her school. The winner will receive 1,000 riyals, 200 more than her dream bike costs! ”Wadjda” is the first film that was entirely shot in Saudi Arabia with an entirely Saudi cast.
"Haifaa al-Mansours Spielfilm ‚Das Mädchen Wadjda‘ ist einer der wichtigen und aufwühlenden Filmstarts des Jahres. Denn hier erzählt eine Filmemacherin aus Saudi-Arabien vom Frauenleben, von den alltäglichen Einschränkungen, Gängeleien und Repressalien – wobei ‚Das Mädchen Wadjda‘ uns gleich mit zwei Geschichten die Augen öffnet, einerseits mit der vom Drehbuch erzählten, andererseits mit jener rund um die Produktion selbst." (Thomas Klingenmaier, Stuttgarter Zeitung)Stuttgarter Zeitung , Thomas Klingenmaier