Eric McDowell

First Films: Haifaa Al-Mansour’s “Wadjda”

* Eric McDowell *

More so than any of the other films I have considered over the course of this series, Haifaa Al-Mansour’s Wadjda (2012) is a film of firsts: not only is it Al-Mansour’s feature debut, but it’s also the first feature to be shot entirely in Saudi Arabia, the first feature directed by a female Saudi filmmaker, and Saudi Arabia’s first submission to the Oscars’ Best Foreign Language Film category.

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