by Rachel Oakley in New Film on Monday 21 October 2013

Saudi Arabia’s very first full-length film is at a cinema near you and it’s directed by Haifaa al-Mansour, one of Saudi Arabia’s best known (and most controversial) female filmmakers. The premise is deep: it ‘tells the story of a defiant 10-year-old pushing back against the social expectations that define her life as a young Saudi woman’.

Shooting in Saudi Arabia was a struggle due to the segregated society but Haifaa al-Mansour hopes her film will open up the culture to the rest of the world: ‘I wanted to make a film that when I see it, I feel powerful. And I think it’s time now in the Middle East to bring films of that type. It is a hard, tough time now in the Middle East, and it is up to people to change things — if they really change atheart.

‘Not only by changing regimes and political stuff, but also by believing in women. By believing in others and becoming more tolerant, more respectful for other cultures. It is time to open up the culture’.

Via The Daily Beast