THE PERFECT CANDIDATE
NOMINATED: BEST FILM, VENICE FILM FESTIVAL 2019
SELECTED: LONDON FILM FESTIVAL 2019
Oscar nominee and Saudi Arabia's first woman director Haifaa Al-Mansour (Wadjda SFF 2012), brings a revealing look at the changing roles of women in Saudi Arabia. Maryam is a doctor in a Saudi hospital, the only one in town with emergency facilities. Despite her qualifications, she struggles to to earn the respect of male colleagues and patients every day. After Maryam is prevented from traveling to Dubai in search of a better job, a bureaucratic mixup leads her to run for the local elections. With her musician father away on tour playing the first public concerts allowed in the Kingdom in decades, Maryam enlists her two younger sisters to begin fundraising and planning campaign events. She becomes a phenomenon, first via social media, than by appearing on an interview show and refusing to answer questions on “women‘s subjects” like gardens.
Despite her father and her community's struggle to accept her as their town's first woman candidate, Maryam's journey starts to become a symbol for a larger movement.