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ROMAN PAUL

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WADJDA (2014)
Starring Waad Mohammed, Reem Abdullah, Abdullrahman Al Gohani, Ahd and Sultan Al Assaf. Directed by Haifaa Al Mansour.

Wadjda is a 10-year-old girl living in a suburb of Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. Although she lives in a conservative world, Wadjda is fun loving, entrepreneurial and rebellious. She’s determined to fight for her dreams, which include saving enough money to buy a bicycle, so she can race her friend Abdullah. Wadjda lives at home with her parents, who are loving if a little distracted. Her father isn’t around much, and her mother is convinced he’s busy looking for a second wife. The story is tailored to highlight the pressures and difficulties faced by women in Saudi Arabia, with a rare glimpse into the lives of women behind closed doors and the warm relationships between mothers and daughters.

REVIEWS Wadjda - Pushing boundaries

GOODBYE, FIRST LOVE (2012)
Starring Lola Créton, Sebastian Urzendowsky, Magne Håvard Brekke, Valérie Bonneton, Serge Renko, Özay Fecht, Max Ricat, Louis Dunbar, Philippe Paimblanc and Patrice Movermann. Directed by Mia Hansen-Løve.

REVIEWS Goodbye, First Love - Doesn't quite translate

QUO VADIS, AIDA?
Starring Jasna Đuričić, Izudin Bajrović, Boris Ler, Dino Bajrović, Boris Isaković, Emir Hadžihafizbegović, Raymond Thiry, Johan Heldenbergh, Joes Brauers and Reinout Bussemaker. Directed by Jasmila Žbanić.

Bosnia, July 1995. Middle-aged Aida is an English teacher in the small mountain town of Srebrenica. When the Serbian army ignores a formal UN ultimatum and begins a series of round-ups and brazen shellings, Aida and her family find themselves among over 30,000 besieged citizens attempting to shelter in a UN peacekeeper-operated military base on the outskirts of town, designed to house only a few thousand. Aida’s skills as a translator enable her to eventually bargain her husband and two sons inside, literally under the wire.

There, within the so-called safe zone, the harried and frantic Aida becomes party to the negotiations and to crucial information. While the support the UN can provide is crumbling, the situation intensifies with the arrival of vainglorious army commander Ratko Mladić, accompanied by his own camera crew. What is at the horizon for Aida’s family and people - rescue or death? Which moves should she make?

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