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Cinema debate

Wadja – La bicicletta verde

Dream – Freedom – Perseverance – Determination

This Friday, 3rd march, at the Teatro d’Insieme took place the first cinema debate organized by H.R.Y.O. On the program, the film Wadjda, it constitutes two first. The first film made under the Saudi banner, and at the same time the first work by a woman, Haifaa Al Mansour.

Synopsis: Wadjda, twelve years old, lives in a suburb of Riyadh. Although she grows up in a conservative environment, she is a girl full of life who wears jeans and sneakers, listens to rock and dreams of only one thing: to buy the beautiful green bike that will allow her to race with his friend Abdallah. But in the Wahhabi kingdom, bicycles are reserved for men because they pose a threat to the virtue of girls. Wadjda mother refused to give her money for this purchase. Determined to find the money by her own means, Wadjda decides to participate in the contest of koranic recitation organized by her school, with for the winner, the amount so much desired.

Lights turn on and pop-corn finished, we debated on this inspiring production. Here are the main ideas perceived:

A taboo wiped out

Indeed, the movie, Wadja, is an admired work that received the award as the Best Arabic Film.
But it’s also source of polemics, because filming women in Saudi Arabia is in itself prohibited and taboo. All the more, a woman making films, filming women and denouncing the status of women in her country!
It deals with prohibited subjects, such as the limits of orthodoxy, tolerance, and restrictions resulting from a traditional culture. A societal approach that can be found from end to end in “Wadjda”.

An unsuspected daily life


In the background, there is the intimacy of a local family, the pressure of an election campaign, the everyday life of the shopkeepers, the employees of the Saudi capital, and the atmosphere of girls’ schools. Above all, there is a certain gap between the vestiges of rigid religious principles and modern normality (television, video games, shopping malls, consumer society).

A shooting at risk

A bit of background information about the film.

Haifaa Al-Mansour, supported by Prince Al-Walid ben Talal, a progressive member of the royal family, was able to work with Saudi actors on the streets of Riyadh. It is difficult to imagine that the film took place in conservative neighborhoods. To film with discretion, the shooting crew hid from the inhabitants in vans and gave instructions to the actors by telephone.

We can deduce that this is a fine parallel, with the values ​​of the film which promotes optimism and reminds us that it is not only reserved for men, since freedom of thought is not a prohibition.

An astute scenario

By filming a little girl dreaming of a bike prohibited by customs, she films a story that turns to derision forbids her. The stratagem used by Wadjda, by participating in a contest of koranic recitation in order to win the necessary amount of money, denounce moreover the hypocrisy and the restrictions that the power exercises by the religion.

Through her determination, Wadjda will give a lesson of life to her family and all those around her. Haifaa Al Mansour films her little actress, Waad Mohammed, with an infinite tenderness that can only inspire the adhesion. Beautiful and touching, she brings a sense of compassion, even if her parents are most attentive to her. They are not the executioners, but a system that applies orthodox principles as so many rules of life. The prohibition on the bicycle for women, reflected on all the others, to call them derisory, of another time, ridiculous.

We all appreciate the freshness of this film. Too bad it is banned in the country. But it will be able, like other films, to circulate under the cloak and perhaps to contribute to the evolution of political practice and freedom of women in the kingdom.

Rendezvous at the next cinema debate: Persepolis, the 10th of march in Teatro d’Insieme.[:en]

Wadja – La bicicletta verde

Dream – Freedom – Perseverance – Determination

This Friday, 3rd march, at the Teatro d’Insieme took place the first cinema debate organized by H.R.Y.O. On the program, the film Wadjda, it constitutes two first. The first film made under the Saudi banner, and at the same time the first work by a woman, Haifaa Al Mansour.

Synopsis: Wadjda, twelve years old, lives in a suburb of Riyadh. Although she grows up in a conservative environment, she is a girl full of life who wears jeans and sneakers, listens to rock and dreams of only one thing: to buy the beautiful green bike that will allow her to race with his friend Abdallah. But in the Wahhabi kingdom, bicycles are reserved for men because they pose a threat to the virtue of girls. Wadjda mother refused to give her money for this purchase. Determined to find the money by her own means, Wadjda decides to participate in the contest of koranic recitation organized by her school, with for the winner, the amount so much desired.

Lights turn on and pop-corn finished, we debated on this inspiring production. Here are the main ideas perceived:

A taboo wiped out

Indeed, the movie, Wadja, is an admired work that received the award as the Best Arabic Film.
But it’s also source of polemics, because filming women in Saudi Arabia is in itself prohibited and taboo. All the more, a woman making films, filming women and denouncing the status of women in her country!
It deals with prohibited subjects, such as the limits of orthodoxy, tolerance, and restrictions resulting from a traditional culture. A societal approach that can be found from end to end in “Wadjda”.

An unsuspected daily life


In the background, there is the intimacy of a local family, the pressure of an election campaign, the everyday life of the shopkeepers, the employees of the Saudi capital, and the atmosphere of girls’ schools. Above all, there is a certain gap between the vestiges of rigid religious principles and modern normality (television, video games, shopping malls, consumer society).

A shooting at risk

A bit of background information about the film.

Haifaa Al-Mansour, supported by Prince Al-Walid ben Talal, a progressive member of the royal family, was able to work with Saudi actors on the streets of Riyadh. It is difficult to imagine that the film took place in conservative neighborhoods. To film with discretion, the shooting crew hid from the inhabitants in vans and gave instructions to the actors by telephone.

We can deduce that this is a fine parallel, with the values ​​of the film which promotes optimism and reminds us that it is not only reserved for men, since freedom of thought is not a prohibition.

An astute scenario

By filming a little girl dreaming of a bike prohibited by customs, she films a story that turns to derision forbids her. The stratagem used by Wadjda, by participating in a contest of koranic recitation in order to win the necessary amount of money, denounce moreover the hypocrisy and the restrictions that the power exercises by the religion.

Through her determination, Wadjda will give a lesson of life to her family and all those around her. Haifaa Al Mansour films her little actress, Waad Mohammed, with an infinite tenderness that can only inspire the adhesion. Beautiful and touching, she brings a sense of compassion, even if her parents are most attentive to her. They are not the executioners, but a system that applies orthodox principles as so many rules of life. The prohibition on the bicycle for women, reflected on all the others, to call them derisory, of another time, ridiculous.

We all appreciate the freshness of this film. Too bad it is banned in the country. But it will be able, like other films, to circulate under the cloak and perhaps to contribute to the evolution of political practice and freedom of women in the kingdom.

Rendezvous at the next cinema debate: Persepolis, the 10th of march in Teatro d’Insieme.[:]