What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Wadjda is the first Saudi Arabian movie to be directed by a woman, and it centers on a feisty, independent girl who wants to ride a bicycle, wear sneakers, and be able to compete against her best friend -- a boy in the neighborhood. The movie explores the various religious traditions and laws that many Muslim girls and women have to follow, especially when it comes to dress and submitting to men in authority. There are a few sad moments, references to girls having their period, and one incident in which a male construction worker says something lewd to a young girl, but otherwise there's no violence or strong language (except for one "damn"). An adult smokes cigarettes more and more as the movie progresses. Also, the movie is subtitled rather than dubbed, but older kids and tweens should be able to keep up with the easy-to-follow story.
  • Families can talk about the importance of using media to explore other cultures and what growing up in other places is like. What does Wadjda teach us about Saudi Arabia?
  • Do you think it's obvious that the movie was directed by a woman? What do you think she's trying to say about Saudi society?
  • Does this movie make you want to see more foreign films? Why or why not?
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