After her debut feature Wadjda (2012) broke new ground as the first-ever film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia — and the first made by a Saudi woman — director Haifaa Al-Mansour returns to the kingdom with The Perfect Candidate, a tale of one woman’s quest to challenge not only the system but also herself.
The film follows Maryam, a determined young doctor who runs for city council after the male incumbent repeatedly ignores her request to fix the muddy road leading to her clinic. Despite her father and her community’s struggle to accept her as their town’s first female candidate, Maryam’s creative and ambitious campaign builds momentum, becoming a symbol for a larger movement.
Essential Film of 2020 ★★★★ “Fiery and Headstrong“ The Guardian
★★★★ “Groundbreaking…powerful parable of feminism at the sharp end” Time Out
“Smashes the Saudi glass ceiling“ Total Film
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