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Haifaa Al-Mansour, 2012
The very fact of Wadjda’s making – the first Saudi film by a woman – is cause for celebration. It is tempting to project political allegory on to it but to do so might overburden this delicately crafted and sweetnatured drama about a wily schoolgirl trying to save up for a bike (frowned upon for girls) while her mother tries to protect her monogamous marriage.
The subjugation may seem headsmackingly backward to 2014 western eyes but it is the universality of Wadjda’s gently rebellious spirit that shines through.