Dir: Haifaa al-Mansour, Saudi Arabia, 98 mins
According to nineteenth century activist Susan B. Anthony, “the bicycle has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.” Here we see pedal power working its magic again, in the charming and quietly barbed story of a young Saudi girl who dreams of having her own bike. Wadjda arrives weighed down not just with festival plaudits but plenty of history too, as the first film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia and the first by a female director. It’s also a joy to watch.
To read an interview with director Haifaa al-Mansour from last year’s Dubai International Film Festival, click here.