Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/22/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

'Wadja,' on film festival circuit, tells story of 11-year-old girl who years to ride bicycles

The first full-length feature film ever shot in Saudi Arabia has a daring theme considering its country of origin. "Wadja" tells the story of an 11-year-old girl who dreams of owning a bicycle. Saudi Arabia is a highly conservative Muslim nation, the only one in the world where women are still forbidden to drive. Haifaa al-Mansour, Saudi Arabia's first female film director finds the film and its reception to be highly exciting.

The first full-length feature film ever shot in Saudi Arabia has a daring theme considering its country of origin. 'Wadja' tells the story of an 11-year-old girl who dreams of owning a bicycle.

The first full-length feature film ever shot in Saudi Arabia has a daring theme considering its country of origin. "Wadja" tells the story of an 11-year-old girl who dreams of owning a bicycle.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/22/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Wadja, Saudi Arabia, movies, female director, women's struggles


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Wadja" premiered during the 69th Venice Film Festival in Venice, in August of last year. Thirty-eight-year-old director al-Mansour says she directed the film while confined in the back of a van.

"Yes, when we go outside, the country's segregated, and men and women are not expected to work in public together. So I had to be in a van, with a monitor and a walkie-talkie and tell everyone what to do and not to do, like screaming into the phone," al Mansour related in a newspaper interview.

"It was difficult, frustrating to be confined in a small space when everybody is outside."

Barely five feet tall, the demure director says she is neither angry nor resentful about the rigors and restrictions she faced in making the film. 

"It's exciting just to be part of what's happening in Saudi now," she told the Guardian newspaper. "It's changing. It's a moving society. And for me to just be part of it, it's alright, like inside the van or outside the van. I think the most important thing is I was able to make a film, an authentic film and the first film entirely shot in Saudi. It's an amazing thing and everything else is - eh," she said, with a shrug.

"Wadja" tells the story of a young girl who yearns to buy a bicycle to race one of her male friends. Her "old school" mother warns her that if she rides a bike she can never have children. Saudi King Abdullah recently ruled that women can ride bicycles in parks and other entertainment areas if they are supervised by males and modestly clad in abayas, the body enclosing cloaks worn by Saudi women.

When asked al-Mansour if the film has made her a hero or a pariah.  "Both," she said, with a laugh.

"Now that Saudi Arabia is opening up and changing, there are many people that are pro women's rights, and they want to see things happen and change. And there are some people who are very conservative, and they think women taking professions of this type threatens values and all of that. For me, I sympathize with that. Change is such a painful process."

"Wadja" has recently debuted in theaters in the United Kingdom.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.



Comments


More Middle East

ISIS RELEASES 19 kidnapped Assyrian Christians but what about the other 200? Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Nineteen of the more than 200 Assyrian Christians kidnapped by ISIS in north-eastern Syria have been set free. Taken from their homes in February, the fate and whereabouts of the remaining Assyrian Christians is still unknown. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Those ... continue reading


Emails from a MADMAN: 'Jihadi John's' horrific emails to reporter reveal his instability Watch

Image of Mohammed Emwazi as a young lad -- unaware of the chill he would bring the world in his later years.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Jihadi John," the Islamist State terrorist connected to at least six executions of Western journalists broadcast online is now identified as former London resident Mohammed Emwazi. People who knew the elusive murderer are now coming forward with insights on ... continue reading


(WARNING: Graphic Photos) ISIS throws another 'gay' man off rooftop to die Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

ISIS has, once again, resorted to throwing a man to his death off a high building. With a large crowd witnessing the procedures, the Islamic State carries out a guilty charge to a man accused of being a "child of lot." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to ... continue reading


Destroying culture: New Islamic State video shows priceless statues beheaded Watch

Image of The five-minute video shows men going at statue after statue, knocking them to the ground and destroying them with sledgehammers and jackhammers.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In another atrocity perpetrated against world history and culture, members of Islamic State are shown destroying priceless works of art in a museum in Mosul, Iraq. Some statues are beheaded in the manner of IS' squirming victims. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


ISIS' leading man, the masked Jihadi John's true identity revealed Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The man behind the mask in brutal ISIS execution videos, known as Jihadi John, is assumed to be a British man named Mohammed Emwazi. Jihadi John appears in the beheading videos of American hostages, James Foley and Steven Sotloff and Britan hostages, Alan Henning and ... continue reading


Islamic State butchers 15 captured Christians, calls for Muslims to watch murder of 350 more Watch

Image of Islamic State fighters captured almost 400 Syrian Christians, and are reported to have executed 15.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New reports from Syria reveal that the Islamic State may have murdered 15 of the more than 300 Christians it had captured earlier this week. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A Catholic humanitarian group, Aid to the Church in Need, issued a report that the 15 of ... continue reading


Saudi Arabian man sentenced to death after rebelliously tearing up copy of Koran Watch

Image of Protesters simulate a flogging in front of the Saudi embassy in Washington DC in protest against the 10-year prison sentence given to a blogger.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Saudi Arabia has long been a friend to the United States and its allies, a very important hedge against militant Islamist groups and nations in the Middle East. This alignment does have limits - Western diplomats are expected to address the kingdom's many human ... continue reading


ISIS kidnaps 90 Christians from Assyrian villages Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

ISIS has kidnapped at least 90 Christians - mainly women and children - from their homes after launching dawn raids on Assyrian villages. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "The ISIS fighters bust past a few men guarding the village of Tal Shamiram around 4 a.m. (9 ... continue reading


TRAPPED FOREVER: A first hand account on the horrific daily life in ISIS' terror captial, Raqqa Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Forced blood donations, daily executions, airstrikes and forced marriages are just a few things those stuck in ISIS' capital city, Raqqa experience. Getting in with ISIS is not the hard part; getting out alive is impossible. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Abu ... continue reading


Young Iraqi Christian's unexpected plans for ISIS will leave you stunned Watch

Image of Young Persecuted Christian's remain in good spirit despite losing everything.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Every day a Christian is persecuted or murdered at the hands of ISIS. Every day someone is forced to run from their homes in Iraq or Syria. It doesn't matter if it is a child or an adult; ISIS doesn't care. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Being uprooted and forced ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 18:18-20
18 'Come on,' they said, 'let us concoct a plot ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 31:5-6, 14, 15-16
5 to your hands I commit my spirit, by you have I ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 20:17-28
17 Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, and on the road ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 4th, 2015 Image

St. Casimir
March 4: Casimir grew up in a world where his life was not his own. As a ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter