The Perfect Candidate

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The Perfect Candidate
The Perfect Candidate
Release date
27th Mar 2020
Director
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The Perfect Candidate

TBC cinema age rating  

A young female doctor puts Saudi Arabia’s ultra-conservative social norms to the test when she becomes a candidate for the municipal council. The community might only see her as a novelty act but her vision in politics is serious. Haifaa Al-Mansour directs this challenge to traditional gender norms, which stars Mila Al Zahrani, Nora Al Awadh and Dae Al Hilali.

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As Maryam (Mila Al Zahrani) goes about her day-to-day duties as a doctor in Saudi Arabia, she faces male patients unwilling to be seen by her due to her gender. Not being taken seriously by men seems part of her life as a woman but there are other issues that will drive her beyond her perceived place in society.

It all starts with the dirt road leading to her clinic. Maryam knows all too well the struggle that patients face using it to get in, especially on rainy days when the road turns to mud. Yet, the council won’t do anything about it. That’s why she’s taking matters into her own hands and stepping up as the first female candidate of the municipal council.

Both the community and her family aren’t willing to accept her and some think a woman shouldn’t be running for office at all. Others make patronising judgements about where her interests might lie, but that won’t hold her back from her political ambition that could change her community and its attitudes for the better.

The first Saudi woman to direct a feature film, BAFTA nominee Haifaa Al-Mansour (Nappily Ever After, Mary Shelley, Wadjda), once again challenges the boundaries of gender with The Perfect Candidate. Newcomers Mila Al Zahrani, Nora Al Awadh and Dae Al Hilali all take on starring roles in this exciting new drama.

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