A young girl rebels

PUBLISHED: 10:00 27 February 2015




THE first full-length film to be shot entirely inside Saudi Arabia will be screened by Portishead Film next week.

Even more remarkably, in a land where women are considered second class citizens, Wadjda has been made by a woman.

The main character is a sparky 10-year-old girl with a mischievous sense of humour and a taste for freedom. Both get her into trouble at her religious school, where the headmistress instructs her pupils in the verses of the Quran and the virtues of being neither seen nor heard.

Wadjda’s mother refuses to buy her a bicycle so that she can race against her friend, Abeer, on the grounds which is against Saudi Arabia’s strict social codes.

However, her heart is set on it so she decides to raise the cash herself by winning a Quran recital competition, run by her suspicious headmistress. Her refusal to accept the restrictions placed upon her gender, renders the story both wryly charming and slyly subversive.

As well as covering universal themes of hope and perseverance that people of all cultures can relate to, at its heart Wadjda is a celebration of youth and a striking film by any standards.

It will be screened at the Jubilee Hall, Slade Road at 8pm on March 6. Doors open for refreshments at 7.30pm.

Tickets are priced from £4.50-5.

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