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Ranjan recommends, Saudi Arabia's first feature film, Wadjda

When Haifaa al-Mansour decided to make her first feature film – WADJDA (2012), she had to shoot all the outdoor scenes from inside concealed cars because, being a woman in Saudi Arabia, she was not permitted to work outside. Incidentally, this also happens to be Saudi Arabia’s first feature film. This eponymous film deals with a 10-year-old girl who decides to participate in a Quran recital competition at her school; but her intentions are not very religious. She wants to buy a bicycle with the prize money if she wins – but girls in Saudi Arabia are barred from riding bicycles. Meanwhile, her mother is fighting her own battle: her husband is getting married again… This brave and delectable film is ironically Saudi Arabia’s official entry for the Best Foreign Film at the 86th Academy Awards, though it could not make it to the final round. Streaming on Netflix. Not to be missed.

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