A woman’s guide to landing the perfect job. A steadfast young doctor’s run for city council sweeps up her family and community as they struggle to accept their town’s frst female candidate in Haifaa Al Mansour’s (WADJDA) revealing look at the changing roles of women in Saudi Arabia.

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The Synopsis

A revealing look at the changing roles of women in Saudi Arabia from director Haifaa Al Mansour(WADJDA), THE PERFECT CANDIDATE
follows Maryam, a determined young doctor who runs for city council after the male incumbent repeatedly ignores her request to fix the muddy road leading to her clinic. Despite her father and her community’s struggle to accept her as their town’s first female candidate, Maryam’s creative and ambitious campaign builds momentum, becoming a symbol for a larger movement.

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The Director's Note

THE PERFECT CANDIDATE focuses on a female Saudi doctor who challenges the patriarchal system by running as a candidate in the municipal council elections in order to fix the road leading up to her clinic. Through her journey I want to show an optimistic view of the role
women can play in Saudi society and the contributions they can make towards forging their own destinies. I want to encourage Saudi women to take a chance and break away from the system that for so long has held us back. Change must ultimately be sustained and driven by the people who are most in need of improvements and increased mobility in their daily lives. The subtext of the film focuses on the need to celebrate and honor our strong cultural and artistic traditions and to let them guide the efforts to develop and modernize the country. All public displays of art have been forbidden in the modern era of the country’s development. As concert halls, movie theaters and art galleries begin to open up across the Kingdom again, it is important to look back at the rich artistic history we almost lost. There is beautiful music and rich imagery that we must revive, restore and reinvigorate within our society. With the opening of cinemas and allowing women to drive in the Kingdom, I want to show how much effort real change will entail. Women will now have opportunities to contribute and participate in a society that kept them on the sidelines for generations. The hardest part now is for women to look beyond the antiquated social standards and limited goals they had previously seen for themselves, to shatter 3the taboos that hold them back and decide to blaze new trails for themselves and their daughters.