In 2012, Al-Mansour became the country's premier feature film director, with "Wadjda", a sweet neorealistic film about a girl determined to buy a bicycle. She made it while sheThe was hidden in the back of a van, as it was forbidden to work with men - or even to drive herself on the set.
"I don't know if I would be a filmmaker if I grew up in America " she says. "I imagine I would have had a very successful career, but maybe I didn't feel the need to have a voice.
After some time in Hollywood - "Nappily Ever After", "Mary Shelley - she returned to Saudi Arabia to do " The Perfect Candidate ", a low-key drama about a Saudi doctor, Maryam (Mila Al Zahrani), who is running for election.local events while his father, a musician, travels with the national group. This time she could go outdoors.
Cinemas are now legal in the realm. And last year, a few of them screened "The Perfect Candidate ", which Saudi Arabia submitted to the Oscars. "It's amazing to see art seep into a very conservative, very closed society," she said on a recent video call. "We hope that art brings tolerance and elevates culture." The film arrives in US theaters Friday.
Al-Mansour waited for the end of the pandemic at home, in a suburb of Los Angeles where she lives with her husband, Brad Niemann, a diplomat, and their two school-aged children. (His youngest childHaylie Niemann stars in 'The Wedding Singer's Daughter,' Al-Mansour's 2018 short for Miu Miu's Women's Tales (fil m.) Seeing everyone in masks sometimes made her feel like she was wearing a mask. 'be back in Saudi Arabia, where many women have long worn masks.
She spent the months dancing, cooking and preparing a few new projects: an animated film, a horror film and an adaptation of the novel for young adults "The Selection", by Kiera Cass. All of Al-Mansour’s films are about animated women. Even the animation, which speaks of a lady camel. “If you have this amazing female protagonist in your heart, I'm very interested in unlocking this and being close to it,” she said.
On the video call, Al-Mansour discussed his cultural fundamentals, which include punk rock, Arab cinema and TikTok Recipes . These are edited snippets of the conversation.
I love the spirit of independent American bands. My husband is a huge punk fan and our kids we take them to concerts. Jawbreaker captures the emotions raw and intense of youth and heartache. Beyond the rough exterior, Jawbreaker has plenty of sweet posts. "Busy aims to help your friends. " Save Your Generation means being active and involved. They sound really tou gh - very, very different from the music I grew up with. But music has been so vilified in Arabia for so long that it has taken on many aspects of American underground music. I have a deep respect for singers who dare to exercise a profession that much of society considers immoral.
2. "Nightingale's prayer (Dua Al-Karawan)
I like to show people this movie to show how old is it gold of Arab cinema was unbelievable.able. It is a beautiful, heartbreaking and so advanced film for its time. It's located in Egypt, in a little town there. Very handsome engineer, he lives in a big house. There are two girls. One of them falls in love with him. When her uncle finds out, he kills her. The other sister witnesses it. She wants revenge. These are honor killings, but told as a love story. It makes people fall in love with these rule-breaking girls and makes them understand what it means to be a young woman.
3. Miss Camel Beauty Pageant
There is nothing more authentically a Gulf experience than a camel beauty pageant, a competition to find the perfect camel. He must be purebred; he must have a very long neck, full lips. The prices are so crazy these days that we have participants disqualified for Botox and wax injections . It's crazy! But it is such an authentic and charming celebration of something that has been part of our culture for eons. I'm working on an animated film about the Miss Camel pageant. This is a camel, a sassy one, Saud je camel who thinks she is made for greater things than just being a milk camel in the streets.
4. " Development stopped
JLove this show. I caught up with him during the pandemic. I really adore Alia Shawkat. Her timing is just wonderful and she is a fearless actress. And no one treats her like an Arab woman. Like, veiled and very obedient. She's just a quirky teenager. And it was very inspiring to see that. And I love that kind of humor. It's very direct and without excuse. I wish I could write humor like that. I'm trying.
5. " The Evil Dead
This movie me still absolutely terrifies. My dad got us this when I was too young to see him. I remember the blood flowing. And the evil laughter of people whohave become monsters. It was so scary! I watched it just a few weeks ago, and it still scares me. I am currently working on a horror film. This is the experience of alienation that Muslims sometimes have. Even though people are very polite, you may feel that they may not accept you. I wanted to capture this moment and what it means because it is so horrible.
6. " Forensic Files
Every episode made following a crime and how the police solve it. I indulged in this during the pandemic because it is all the time! I love the way the [episodes] builtare the drama and the mystery. It’s an amazing and fascinating study of human nature and what can make a "normal" person do something terrible. Usually infidelity and finances. It goes to places I never go. Small towns in America. They even enter people's homes. And parking lots and gas stations, there is a lot going on there.
7. Drawings animated by Shawn Kerri
Shawn is a legendary figure. She was one of the most famous poster artists of the punk rock movement and creator of the famous Circle Jerks logo . She was in one of California 's first all-female rock groups, The Cockpits. She wrote stories for Disney," Cracked And "Hustler" simultaneously. Her work is amazing - fun, exciting and so well executed. My husband and I are in the process of developing a documentary about her. We hope to make people more aware of her art. Women like it, they are always on the verge of success and they disappear. And it 's sad. I want to understand why.
8. TikTok Recipes
My kids are on TikTok, so I have to be on TikTok, I have to understand. As a parent, you always want to know where your kids are, juste to make sure they are safe. My 11 year old daughter and I are obsessed with TikTok recipes. The people are so creative and the medium is perfect for succinct recipes that anyone can make. I made short ribs, which took forever to cook. I was intimidated, but TikTok made it easier. And I made oysters. He said they must be fresh, they must be alive. When you clean them, you have to knock on them. If they close their shell, it means they are alive. I went to the kitchen and started cleaning them and hit them, and they closed their shells and that's where it hit me, they're alive! I was so scared! So no more oysters. They were delicious. But never again.
9. Waltz with Bashir
"Waltz with Bashir " is a Oscar nominated Israeli film, animated documentary about war generals piece together their memories of the Sabra and Shatila massacre [an outbreak of sectarian violence in Beirut in 1982, in which hundreds and possibly thousands of Palestinian and Lebanese civilians were killed]. This leads to an emotional punch at the end. I love the possibilities that come from animating, drawing the past in an emotional way and a clever perspectivelaire.
10. Tales of Miu Miu Women
They celebrate the voice of filmmakers. The films are all so distinct and " The girl of the wedding singer , it 's almost the prologue to "The candidateperfect ". I wanted to tell the story of a girl who is coached by her mother, a wedding singer, to this exclusive wedding. It was fun. My daughter was the star. She really made a difference. great job. I was so proud of her.