Saudi drama 'Norah' makes historic entry at Cannes Film Festival

TheDailyStar || Shining BD

Published: 4/17/2024 6:57:32 AM

In a landmark moment for Saudi Arabia's film industry, "Norah", a drama film, has earned a spot in the official selection of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. 

Helmed by pioneering director Tawfik Alzaidi, "Norah" tells the story of a young woman in 1990s Saudi Arabia, a time when artistic expression was heavily restricted. The film first captured local attention at the Red Sea Film Festival in Jeddah and is now set to make its international debut in Cannes' Un Certain Regard section.

"Norah" follows the life of a young, illiterate, orphaned woman, played by newcomer Maria Bahrawi, who lives in a conservative village. Facing an arranged marriage, Norah yearns for a way out and discovers a new hope through her interactions with Nader, a former artist turned teacher, portrayed by Saudi star Yaqoub Alfarhan. This chaste encounter unleashes in "Norah" a passion for art and, by extension, for a better life away from the village.