Tripoli, 24 October 2013:
The Tripoli-based Arete Cinema Club launches its new season . . .[restrict]tonight with a screening of Wadjda – the first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia by a female Saudi filmmaker.
Wadjda tells the story of an 11-year old girl, living in a suburb of Riyadh, who dreams of owning a bicycle. In Saudi society, however, girls are not encouraged to ride bicycles, which are deemed to threaten their virtue. Her mother, distracted by trying to convince her husband not to take a second wife, pays little attention to Wadjda’s pleas for the green bicycle she sees in a shop window every day. Eventually Wadjda decides to make her own money in a series of ingenious ways so she can buy the bike herself.
In a country where women are forbidden to drive and cinemas are banned, director Haifaa Al-Mansour broke many barriers with this powerful and moving film.
The award-winning film took five years to make, much of which was spent in negotiations with the Saudi authorities. Mansour insisted Wadjda should be filmed there for reasons of authenticity. She directed much of the filming from the back of a van, communicating via walkie-talkies, because she could not be seen to working with male crew members.
Wadjda is in Arabic with French subtitles.
Tonight’s screening is the first of the Arete Cinema Club’s autumn season. Cinemas and theatres in Libya were closed for decades and Arete aims to reintroduce films to the community. Screenings this season will include some of the best of new Arab cinema as well as Hollywood hits and classic European films.
The showing of Wadjda starts at 5 pm on Thursday 24 October. The Art House is on Al-Sekka Road in Tripoli. [/restrict]