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Wadjda [Blu-ray] [2013]
Format: Blu-ray|Change
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on 25 March 2017
made by a female saudi filmmaker this tells the story of a young girl who wants a bicycle much to the dismay of everyone that knows her. she is a wonderful young actress whose expressions tell everything. she also has a rebellious streak in that shs always has to wear converse boots which gets her into trouble. customs ofthe arabian women are also portrayed really well.
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on 16 March 2017
This is what cinema is all about - . humane, enjoyable and full of depth.

Wonderful performances. A gem of world cinema that demands to be seen to better understand Saudi culture (first Saudi feature film). Made by a Saudi woman. Made me think about Samira Makhmalbaf, Tahmineh Milani etc

Truly excellent picture quality on this Bluray.

Excellent extras - Women without Shadows feature is a real bonus. Historical perspective on the position of women in Saudi society.

Great Bluray release.
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on 19 March 2017
brilliant film!
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on 23 May 2015
An insight into Saudi society. A beautiful little film, directed by a woman (who had to keep a low profile).
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on 18 July 2017
Great film.
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on 12 January 2015
Really simple but lovely film showing us a life we can't comprehend. I would fully recommend it.
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on 19 July 2017
wonderful film...good story, naturally acted, and a lovely ending. For the family.
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on 22 March 2015
Brilliant, most elilghtening about life in Saudi.
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on 29 April 2014
To really appreciate this delightful film you need to watch the two documentaries in the 'Extras' before watching it. It is almost imposssible for people brought up in the Western World to appreciate just how badly women are suppressed in Saudi Arabia - and how brain-washed they are in being made to believe that it is all God's Will! That this film was able to be made at all in Saudi Arabia is almost unbelievable. Directed by a Saudi woman (often totally physically out of contact with the film crew except by walkie-talkie because men were in the area) with a German film crew - there are no cinemas in Saudi - the restrictions on filming were huge. However, incredibly, this film is not anti-Saudi, but a stunningly simple story of a girl who wants to buy a bicycle. This is a film to cherish for its humanity and the willingness of a young girl to do whatever it takes to achieve her ambition despite all the odds being against her.
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on 25 September 2013
This is a slightly edited version of my review of the film written for English-speaking friends after I saw it in the cinema in July 2013:

"Oh joy! 5/5 ... This is an incredible film and if, after reading this you want to, you really should try to see it. Yes, yes, I know it's in Arabic with subtitles, but ...

"It's a Saudi/German collaboration, directed by a Saudi woman, about the lives of Muslim women in a run-down, tribal and very conservative Riyadh suburb. The uplifting conclusion will be an inspiration to anyone except perhaps conservative[s of all faiths] ... who will - very wrongly in my view - be indignant at 'all this heresy'...

"So, while the fact that it has been made at all - and is a big critical success - is incredible, it's wonderful to report that this film does for contemporary suburban Saudi life what John Reith said the BBC should do: educate, inform, and entertain. It's a sensitive insight into Muslim women's lives and a window on the teachings of the Koran. It comes from the liberal part of Islam. And it is amusing, sad and dramatic, and beautifully filmed and acted.

"If I had to say which films it reminded me of most, I'd say an unexpected, bizarre and enthralling mélange of If... (Lindsay Anderson, 1968) and Breaking away (Peter Yates, 1979). Yes, it's about badly-behaved school misfits with a dislike of authority and a passion for cycling. I really just can't think why it was that I empathized with the film so strongly!

"There is something odd about the English subtitles in places. But, without seeing the film again, perhaps it was that some of the characters were ignorant of aspects of Arabic grammar and this was being translated deliberately into what we saw on the screen to help our understanding. Anyway, it in no way marred an otherwise excellent experience.

"Quite a few of those of us who'd seen the film [at the showing I went to] ended up afterwards in an eatery next door. I noted we were all staring into space - and then at each other! - with delight about what we'd just seen. And, when I went to Ilford town centre this morning and saw partially- and fully-veiled women coming towards me, I said to myself, 'I know more about you now than I did only 12 hours ago'. What a brilliant result?!

"One for the DVD collection (I trust it'll be on disc soon) in due course ..."
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