Saudi Arabia's First Oscar Entry Gets U.S. Release Date
Posted December 23, 2013 04:31 AM by Webmaster
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has revealed that it plans to bring to Blu-ray director Haifaa Al-Mansour's film Wadjda (2012). The release will be available for purchase on February 11, 2014.
Wadjda is Saudi Arabia's first-ever submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award and the country's first film by a female director.
Synopsis: A rebellious Saudi Arabian girl hatches a plan to get her hands on the bicycle she craves in this coming-of-age story from first time director Haifaa Al-Mansour. Living within a conservative suburb of Riyadh, fun-loving eleven-year-old Wadjda (Waad Mohammed) has her heart set on a green bicycle so that she can beat the boys in their neighbourhood races. But when her mother (Reem Abdullah) forbids it, anticipating a reaction from a society that disapproves of women riding bicycles, an enterprising Wadjda decides to raise the money herself by entering a local Qur'an-reading competition that offers a cash prize.
Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Haifaa Al Mansour
The Making of Wadjda featurette
Director's Guild of America Q&A with Haifaa Al Mansour
And this movie was NOT at all Hollywood-ish. On screen or behind the scenes.
The female director wasn't allowed to be seen filming in public and had to hide in vans or far away from the shoot and use a walkie-talkie to communicate with the Cinematographer. Its very well made, actually. Very witty too. Hope it gets actual recognition in the Oscars.
@repete66211: regarding the French New Wave you got it the other way around... Hollywood and a certain number of its greatest directors were influenced by it: Scorcese, De Palma, Polanski, Penn, Altman and all the members of the "New Hollywood" movement. More recently: Tarantino, Anderson etc.
@redrunner: The subject matter is very much Hollywood. I hope it gets everything the Academy sees fit to give it. It certainly has the sort of PC bona fide the Academy just loves to congratulate itself with rewarding.
@hhhrrrinnn: I appreciate your enthusiasm for film history but you may want to go back a bit further. Yes, the French New Wave did influence American filmmakers, but they themselves were influenced by American films to begin with. No man is an island...