Movie review: 'Wadjda'

“Wadjda,” a delightful debut feature by a Saudi woman named Haifaa Al-Mansour, uses a bicycle as a metaphor for freedom within a social circumference.
Oklahoman Modified: October 24, 2013 at 2:28 pm •  Published: October 25, 2013

Wadjda is a wily entrepreneur and realizes she would have enough money for the bike if she won her school's contest for memorizing and reciting the Quran.

With an artfully light touch, director Al-Mansour uses the contest as both a dramatic hook and a vehicle for exploring rifts between the word of God and the edicts of men. As Wadjda wonders why her name is trimmed from her father's family tree — and why he is considering a second wife — she also strengthens her own character and faith for the life ahead of her.

Spinning its wheels, a turbulent world needs more movies like “Wadjda.”

— Joe Williams,

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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