Considering the recent recension of Saudi Arabia’s ban on female drivers, it seems like a good time to revisit writer/director Haifaa Al-Mansour’s Wadjda. The first feature film shot in Saudi Arabia, as well as the first to be directed by a woman, this story of a rebellious young Saudi girl trying to buy a bicycle easily bears as much value as a voyeuristic glimpse into the cultural context of its location as it does aesthetic merit. Uneven in places, Al-Mansour’s film nevertheless offers uncommon insight and a sense of grounded characterization that belies its significance as a cultural artifact to foreign audiences. 

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