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'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Middle East

Signs of desperation: Islamic State offers rewards for capture of foreign 'spies' Watch

Image of The multi-month campaign of airstrikes, led by the U.S., have been effective in harming the Islamic State, keeping them unable to operate effectively in Iraq or Syria.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While leaders of the Islamic State have claimed that the airstrikes by the U.S. and coalition allies are ineffective, it has garnered a reaction from them. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Leadership have distributed paper fliers in the north of Syria that they ... continue reading


Pakistani court rules that Christian woman will be put to death Watch

Image of The daughters of Asia Bibi, with a photograph of their mother.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A high court in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore has confirmed the death sentence of a Christian woman who was convicted of blasphemy, destroying the hopes of her family that the conviction would be overturned or lessened to jail time. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Syria's 1,500-year-old Christian community under imminent threat in civil war Watch

Image of Christian leaders in Syria warn of an exodus on the scale of Iraq, where the 1.5 million-strong community that lived there prior to the first Gulf War is now down to as little as a tenth of its former size.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As reported by Ruth Sherlock of the Telegraph, the Syrian town of Izraa, home one of the world's oldest Christian communities, is under threat by ongoing civil war. The area's Christian community is leaving in fear for their lives, draining a once vibrant oasis ... continue reading


Jordan's Queen Rania denounces ISIS for plunging Arab world 'back to the Dark Ages' Watch

Image of Queen Raina of Jordan says that education and job creation as being the key to thwarting the extremists.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Known for her poise and beauty, Queen Rania didn't hold back in denouncing the repugnant activities of Islamic State during a powerful address to the Abu Dhabi Media Summit in the United Arab Emirates. The 44-year-old monarch spoke against the disgusting videos ... continue reading


Defense officials warn that airstrikes are not stopping Islamic State's conquest of Iraq and Syria Watch

Image of Members of the Islamic State ride a captured tank through an Iraqi city displaying their black flags.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Obama's multi-month campaign of airstrikes against Islamic State forces in Iraq and Syria, while a major moral booster for Iraqi forces and a token gesture of support from the United States, may not actually be nearly as effective as the White House has ... continue reading


Religious extremism driving majority of world acts of terror Watch

Image of Groups with a religious agenda are attributed to the majority of incidents over the past few years, according to the author's report.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Instead of making humanity more respectful of their fellow man, religion is one of the factors fueling violence and chaos in the world. Religious extremism, which disallows interpretation and those of other faiths, is the force behind the majority of the acts ... continue reading


ISIS ammo: Deadly terror group can keep fighting for two years, United Nations warns Watch

Image of One anonymous member state has provided information about

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's both a dire warning and lesson to the West when it comes to terrorist organizations.  According to the United Nations, the dreaded Islamic State, or ISIS has enough weapons now to continue fighting for two years unabated. The ironic twist? Most of ... continue reading


The long and painful war against terrorism: 2013-14 the worst years to date Watch

Image of Operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Taliban is one of the militant groups responsible for the most deaths around the world.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new report has revealed that the number of people who have been killed by militants across the globe has jumped up more than 60% from 2013, reaching a record high of nearly 18,000. This death toll could continue to rise in 2014 because of the escalating ... continue reading


The United Arab Emirates just named these two American organizations as terrorists! Watch

Image of Al-Qaeda and its affiliates throughout the Middle East and North Africa have been designated a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It came as somewhat of a shock to two Islamic groups in the United States when they found that they were recently included in a list of terrorist organizations by the United Arab Emirates. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Council on American-Islamic ... continue reading


Two U.S. Islamic groups branded as terrorists Watch

Image of Both CAIR and MAS were among more than 80 groups whose designation was approved by the UAE cabinet and announced this past weekend.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two moderate, mainstream Islamic groups in the United States feel as though they've been tarred and feathered with the same brush. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which describes itself as "America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy ... 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, Revelation 15:1-4
1 And I saw in heaven another sign, great and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 7-8, 9
1 [Psalm] Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:12-19
12 'But before all this happens, you will be seized ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 26th, 2014 Image

St. John Berchmans
November 26: Eldest son of a shoemaker, John was born at Diest, Brabant. He ... 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