Wednesday 10 November
10am, 2pm, 5pm, 7.30pm
Directed by Haifaa Al Mansour
The film offers a candid view on Saudi Arabian society that will pique the curiosity of Western audiences.
When a hardworking young female doctor in a small-town clinic is prevented from flying to Dubai for a conference without a male guardian’s approval, she seeks help from a politically connected cousin but in the process, inadvertently registers as a candidate for the municipal council. She then decides to run for the council position because the incumbent has repeatedly ignored her request to fix the muddy road leading to her clinic. Despite the community’s struggle to accept her as the town’s first female candidate, her creative and ambitious campaign becomes a symbol for a larger movement.
The Perfect Candidate doesn’t burn the veil, but it does lift it briefly, allowing us a glimpse of Saudi womanhood that is idiosyncratic and individual — in short, as we very rarely see it. – Jessica Kiang, Rolling Stone
… is a simple story, told without frills or even much in the way of nuance. But it’s socked through with great power, conviction and an underlying hope for a better world. – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian