‘Wadjda’ director Haifaa Al Mansour gives female perspective of life in Saudi Arabia

"'That' being directing a film in public in the conservative Muslim kingdom, if you’re a woman. And yet here is Al Mansour in a hotel suite in the District’s West End, a silver tray of noontime tea in front of her, across from an easel holding a poster pocked with praise for her film “Wadjda” (pronounced “WA-je-da”). The van was both a necessary capitulation to Saudi codes and a way around them, and the film’s title character employs a similar strategy in Al Mansour’s story: By competing for a cash prize in a Koran memorization contest, feisty 10-year-old Wadjda hopes to buy a bicycle for herself, even though bicycles are off limits to girls."

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