Girl Riding A Bicycle Movie Reviews Examples
“Wadjda” is a unique film in several ways: firstly, it is the first feature film shot fully in Saudi Arabia; secondly, it is the first film made by a Saudi woman, and finally, it was the first time that Saudi Arabia made a submission for the Oscars in 2014 (though the film was not nominated).
The film specifically concentrates on the Islamic identity of Saudi society – the religion here is the foundation of the culture, behavior, and way of life of the Saudi people. The school curricula is based on the religious approach, where every child knows Quran and will since then live according to the Islamic principles. Saudi society seems very traditional though some modern trends still leak into the life of the youth. So when a girl listens to the contemporary song in her traditional hijab, the culture seems to be mixed.
Saudi society is patriarchal, and women and men are complementary in the meaning of sharing their roles in society – woman is exceptionally a domestic goddess while man is more of a free and independent part of the society. The status of women in Saudi society is very limited in comparison to that of men. Saudi society maintains boundaries between men and women by Quran whose rules are strict and cannot be broken. Ruled by men, the society reminds women of their place and threatens with punishment of Allah, so women are coerced to adhere to these boundaries. Basically, Saudi men are responsible for maintaining the created boundaries. What makes “Wadjda” so unique is that the movie subverts these boundaries by showing how unfair they work for the women and how ridiculous and meaningless they sometimes are. For example, how can the girl riding a bicycle make Allah angry? The film is both critical of Saudi society’s gender segregation and the Saudi State in general.
The film represents the family of Wadjda as a typical one – the husband is a regular man who affords spending time with friends while the wife does her best to appeal to him and bring up her beloved daughter. They seem happy in their own way until the father one day seizes his possibility of taking a second wife – this cannot but affect the family. Wadjda’s mother is miserable and angry, and at this point, she herself buys her daughter the forbidden gift, the bicycle, thus protesting against the unfair attitude to women.
Wadjda’s mother is a religious woman who at the same time lets her daughter stay a child and enjoy life as long as it is possible. She has accepted her destiny but no religion is able to refuse her to bring joy to Wadjda. Wadjda, in her turn, questions the religion of her mother and the religion in general.
The goal and the content of the moral education girls like Wadjda receive in school is to make them fully obedient to the religious norms thus making this part of society completely predictable and disciplinable. Everything except staying at home and serving the husband is prohibited for the women in Saudi Arabia so the girls cannot have the same hobbies as boys and cannot dream of self-realization.
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