Saudi Arabia

Haifaa Al-Mansour – Wadjda [+commentary] (2012)

Slant Magazine wrote:
Wadjda, a film about the oppression and long-imposed inferiority of women in Saudi Arabia, even begins with a downward-tilted, condescending gaze, offering an opening shot of school girls’ feet. One pair is notably different from the others, sporting purple-laced Chuck Taylors instead of the uniform-y patent-leather slip-ons. These, of course, are the feet of the 10-year-old title character (Waad Mohammed), whose rebellious nature is immediately, ham-handedly underlined as a rally cry for all Saudi women. Reluctant to sing in a choral-type lesson among her tuneful classmates, Wadjda is quiet and unengaged, to which an instructor reacts with, “What’s the matter, Wadjda? You don’t want us to hear your voice?” Cut to Wadjda inside her bedroom full of Western-pop-culture décor, listening to Grouplove’s “Tongue Tied.” Read More »

Haifaa Al-Mansour – Wadjda (2012)

An enterprising Saudi girl signs on for her school’s Koran recitation competition as a way to raise the remaining funds she needs in order to buy the green bicycle that has captured her interest. Read More »

Mahmoud Sabbagh – Barakah yoqabil Barakah AKA Barakah Meets Barakah (2016)


A guy from the middle class meets a girl from a wealthy family and they start a romance in a country that frowns upon it.

This film was the official submission of Saudi Arabia for the ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ category of the 89th Academy Awards in 2017.

The leading actor Hisham Fageeh is probably best known for his 2013 music video No Woman, No Drive which amassed more than 14 million views on YouTube: link

The Arabic title of the film is بركة يقابل بركة‎.
Read More »