Screening and discussion: Wadjda

wadjda-poster higher qualityEric Koeppel

The Film & Film Studies Community of Practice and the Honors College have organized a screening and discussion of “Wadjda,” an award winning Saudi Arabian film from 2013, at the University of Wisconsin–Stout.

“Wadjda” is the first feature film to be shot entirely in Saudi Arabia as well as the first feature-length film made by a female Saudi director, Haifaa Al Mansour. The movie has won multiple awards from film festivals around the world and was selected as the Saudi Arabian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards. Although it was not nominated, it was the first time Saudi Arabia had submitted a film for the Best Foreign Language Oscar.

The real beauty of “Wadjda” is that it is a film from an area of the world that hasn’t had much cinematic activity. In honor of the culture from which this movie came, Saudi Arabian inspired food and refreshments will be provided to attendees after the screening. A discussion led by faculty member and cultural anthropologist Dr. Tina Lee will also take place after the screening.

“In a scene from the film, Wadjda’s mother tells her ‘You won’t be able to have children if you ride a bike!’ In Saudi culture the simple act of a girl riding a bicycle threatens her virtue and value as a woman,” said Associate Professor Peter Galante. “The bicycle becomes a metaphor for gender equality and freedom, core issues for Saudi women to be sure, but equally relevant in our own culture. In the 21st century, in arguably our enlightened society, gender roles are far from settled.”

Both the screening and discussion are free and open to the public. The event takes place from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 29 in Jarvis Hall Science Wing 110.

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