Secret Society of Souptown
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Wadjda (10) lives with her parents in a suburb of Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. Despite her conservative surroundings, Wadjda is a playful child who regularly takes things to the limit. When she wants a beautiful green bicycle, her mother is opposed to the idea worrying what the people will think. Wadjda doesn’t care and decides to save the money herself. While her mother is distracted by her husband’s desire to take a second wife, she hardly realizes her daughter’s plans. Haifaa Al Mansour, regarded as the first female filmmaker from Saudi Arabia, tells an intimate story about a girl with big dreams. The drama offers a glimpse into an otherwise closed society, treating universal and familiar themes such as hope, courage and perseverance. Film was awarded at Venice, Rotterdam, Palm Springs and was Saudi Arabia’s firs ever entry for Best Foreign Film Oscar nomination in 2013.
She is considered to be the first female filmmaker in Saudi Arabia. A graduate of the American University in Cairo and the University of Sydney, with the success of her three short films and the 2005 documentary Women Without Shadows, she inspired a new wave of Saudi filmmakers.