THE PERFECT CANDIDATE
Despite her country’s slow move towards gender equality, a Saudi Arabian doctor discovers that she still faces immense obstacles and sexism when she runs for local office.
Filmmaker Haifaa Al-Monsour catapulted into the international cinema spotlight when she became the first Saudi Arabian woman to direct a feature with her celebrated 2012 debut Wadjda. As if that film’s spunky heroine grew up and went to medical school, Al-Monsour’s eagerly anticipated follow-up THE PERFECT CANDIDATE once again follows a woman combatting the stringent expectations of women in Saudi Arabian society. After being denied passage on a plane due to the absence of a man’s signature, Maryam (Mila Alzahrani) decides to run for local office. Though her family fears that her campaign will expose them to scrutiny and, possibly much worse, Maryam forges on, becoming not only an unveiled voice for women, but for her entire community. As the niqabs and hijabs are removed, more and more women begin to believe that change is possible. Filled with commentary on the plight of women’s rights and social change in Saudi Arabia, THE PERFECT CANDIDATE is an empowering and hopeful tale that will inspire all to question the status quo.
CAST: Mila Al Zahrani, Dhay, Nora Al Awad, Khalid Abdulraheem
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