This film is part of Rentals
The Perfect Candidate
Celebrated Saudi director Haifaa Al Mansour (Wadjda) returns with an inspiring drama about a young doctor unexpectedly becoming an electoral candidate.
Director: Haifaa Al-Mansour
Despite being a highly competent doctor, Maryam’s road is paved with compromises and complications – including a flooded path leading to her clinic, the dangers of which are not taken seriously by local officials. When her attempt to drive to a medical conference is stymied by not having the right papers, she finds her only solution is to sign up to be an electoral candidate, allowing her easy access through road blocks. However, as the responsibility of local politics dawns on her, she ropes in her sisters, one of whom is a wedding videographer, to mount an increasingly visible campaign, challenging Saudi Arabia’s strict social codes and what is expected of a young woman in the country. Meanwhile, her father follows her progress from afar – having received a permit to perform in public spaces for the first time in his career as a musician. His tender but steadfast support of his daughter, coupled with his regret at not being able to share the joy of his own tour with their late mother, is a moving – and timely – reminder that change can be a long process. But in the end, it really is worth the struggle.