Wadjda is not just a great movie, but it's an amazing and historical piece of work by Haifaa Al-Mansour, a female Saudi Arabian director brave enough to take a hard look at the nation's Islamic traditions verses the need for the social liberation of women in a male- and religious- dominated society.
Progress is being made. Al-Mansour can't drive, but she can do a movie. Ironically, the vehicle used is a bicycle. Waad Mohammed plays Wadjda, who is an 11-year old girl wanting one. Girls in Saudi Arabia not only don't drive, but they don't ride bikes.
They do -- in this case at least -- make very good movies.
Director: Haifaa Al-Mansour
Stars: Waad Mohammod, Ahd, Reem Abudulla
Mr. Movie rating: 5 stars
Rated PG for mature themes. It plays at 8 p.m. June 6 only at the Battelle Auditorium.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.
-- Mr. Movie also rides bicycles. Check him out at www.tricityherald.com/arts/mrmovie.