The Perfect Candidate
Winner! Audience Award for Best International Feature — 2020 Florida Film Festival
One Week Only!
The first Saudi woman to direct a feature film, Haifaa Al-Mansour broke new ground with Wadjda in 2012. Now she returns to her roots with the spirited The Perfect Candidate, an amusing and biting reflection on women in Saudi society that was the country’s official entry for last year’s Academy Awards®. Maryam is an ambitious young doctor working in a small-town clinic in Saudi Arabia. Despite her qualifications, she has to earn the respect of male colleagues and acceptance from her patients every day. After Maryam is prevented from traveling to Dubai in search of a better job, a bureaucratic mix-up leads her to stumble on the application for her local city elections, and she decides to run. 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. While they face the restriction of women’s traditional roles at every turn, Maryam’s audacious candidacy starts to build momentum and challenges her conservative community.
Saudi Arabia | Germany, 2019, 104 minutes, Not Rated, In Arabic with English Subtitles, Directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour
“Told with a light comic touch…A movie as brave and humble as its heroine, one that gently threads the needle between a realistic today and a better tomorrow.”– David Ehrlich, INDIEWIRE
“[I]t's deeply thrilling - possibly one of the most exhilarating moments you'll see in a film all year.”– Kevin Maher, TIMES (UK)
“This rousing, spirited and gripping feature equally unpacks life in Saudi Arabia today, avoids painting it as straightforward or clear-cut, and agitates passionately for change.”– Sarah Ward, CONCRETE PLAYGROUND
“Haifaa Al Mansour deploys sly charm and winning humour as she tackles her country's endemic sexism in this surprisingly feelgood tale.”– Jason Best, MARIE CLAIRE
“An enthralling work of subtle power.”– Rob Aldam, BACKSEAT MAFIA
“With exquisite subtlety, director Haifaa Al Mansour brings us into her heroine's world…”– Alonso Duralde, THE WRAP