The Miu Miu ‘The Wedding Singer’s Daughter’ film is directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour and is part of the acclaimed short-film series invites today’s most profound and original female directors to investigate vanity and femininity in the 21st century.
The film is set in nighttime in 1980s Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Glittery and glamorous heels climb out of cars. Women shrouded in traditional black abayas make their way into a wedding hall. There, they reveal what’s underneath: dazzling dresses and wild hair. Their true selves set free, unseen by male gaze. There are strict segregation rules in Saudi weddings. All eyes and ears are on the wedding singer; until the electricity cuts out suddenly. “This is the worst wedding singer ever,” guests mutter, condescendingly. Will the young daughter manage to save her mother’s dignity?
Based in Los Angeles, Haifaa Al-Mansour is considered the first female Saudi filmmaker. Her debut feature, Wadjda (2013) was a breakout hit, and the first ever foreign-language Oscar entry from Saudi Arabia.
“Trying to build things up, step by step, is very important,” says Al-Mansour. “Patience pays off.” Indeed, Saudi pop-singer Rotana Tarabzouni — who plays the lead character in The Wedding Singer’s Daughter, and composed the music with The Real Satta — describes herself and the women of her generation as, “the necessary and exciting growing pains of any society going through a reform and artistic renaissance.”
In this new story, the singer’s young daughter is the unlikely heroine. She ignores the other girls’ scornful judgment, and instead uses her nimble mind, just like an independent film-director. “For me, the little girl represents the future,” reveals Al-Mansour, “and the future belongs to outsiders.”
Haifaa Al-Mansour’s new episode for Women’s Tales will be premiered at the Venice Film Festival’s Giornate degli Autori on September 2nd 2018, along with a screening of Hello Apartment by Dakota Fanning.