Mahmoud SabbaghSaudi Arabia91 minutes2016ColourArabicN/A
Saudi Arabia’s first rom-com features comedian and social-media superstar Hisham Fageeh as a mild-mannered civil servant who runs up against his society’s strict mores when he sets out to romance the outspoken daughter of a wealthy couple.
Barakah is a good-natured municipal employee who roams the streets of Jeddah, halfheartedly enforcing the city's petty bylaws. Bibi, the adopted daughter of a wealthy couple, is an outspoken Instagram star whose fashion-forward video messages of female empowerment have amassed her millions of followers. When Barakah and Bibi cross paths, they hit it off, but quickly realize that finding an appropriate location to meet face-to-face and share even a moment together proves challenging due to Saudi Arabia's strict social mores and codes on the use of public space.
As Barakah and Bibi negotiate the restrictions that makes dating in their country nearly impossible, their courtship provides a humorous, poignant commentary on censorship, the political history and contemporary status of art and culture in Middle Eastern society, and the trials of modern love in Saudi Arabia.
You'll love this movie for challenging traditional societal norms with its witty humour and electrifying romance. — Dasola Dina, TIFF Next Wave Committee