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Thu 8 Mar 2018, 7:00pm–8:40pm

Where: Nga Taonga Sound & Vision, 84 Taranaki St, Te Aro, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Full Price: $10.25 ($10.00 + $0.25 fees)
  • Concession: $8.20 ($8.00 + $0.20 fees)
  • Eventfinda tickets no longer on sale


A rebellious Saudi girl (Waad Mohammed) enters a Koran recitation competition at her school and hopes to win enough money to buy her own bicycle.

"...In addition to being a terrific garden-variety coming-of-age film, Wadjda happens to be the first feature-length movie ever made in Saudi Arabia – all the more notable in that it’s been made by a woman, about a young girl chafing against the religious and social structures of a kingdom literally shrouded in sexual anxiety, misogyny and severe repression. The story of Wadjda – in which Mohammed plays the title character, a 10-year-old schoolgirl living in a suburb of Riyadh – is absorbing enough. But just as compelling are the myriad visual and textural details of modern life in Saudi Arabia, a place of dun-coloured monotony, cruelty and hypocrisy, as well as prosperity, deep devotion and poetry.

But don’t lay any of that heavy-handed jive on Wadjda, who wears Converse Chuck Taylors to her Muslim girls’ school, refuses to wear her head covering and longs to buy a bicycle so that she can race (and beat) her best friend, a boy named Abdullah (Abdullrahman Al Gohani). Wadjda lives in a traditional household with her mother (the gorgeous Saudi television star Reem Abdullah) and a father who visits only occasionally as he contemplates taking a second wife. ...Al Mansour keeps Wadjda simple, never gussying up the story with showy visual flourishes or heavy-handed polemic. Rather, she allows the film to radiate from the implacable force of her unforgettable lead character, played by Mohammed with quiet focus and steady-eyed integrity.” — Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

Note: celebrating 125 years of suffrage in Aotearoa, it’s wonderful to note that Saudi women finally won the right to vote, and stand, in municipal elections in 2015.

Restaurants to book near Wadjda