The Perfect Candidate
24 Church Street
The Perfect Candidate | Dir Haifaa Al Mansour | Saudi Arabia, Germany | 101 mins | Drama, Foreign Language
Maryam is an ambitious young doctor working in a small-town clinic in Saudi Arabia. Despite her qualifications, she has to earn the respect of male colleagues and acceptance from her patients every day. After Maryam is prevented from traveling to Dubai in search of a better job, a bureaucratic mixup leads her to stumble on the application for her local city elections and she decides to run. With her musician father away on tour playing the first public concerts allowed in the Kingdom in decades, Maryam enlists her two younger sisters to begin fundraising and planning campaign events. While they face the restriction of women’s traditional roles in the Kingdom at every turn, Maryam’s audacious candidacy starts to build momentum and challenges her conservative community. A tight race emerges between Maryam and her male opponent, as Maryam and her family mobilise their determination and creativity to move their traditional society forward.
“The Perfect Candidate is fiery and headstrong, and instantly gets you on its side” Xan Brooks The Guardian Haifaa Al Mansour (Wadjda) second feature has been selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 76th Venice International Film Festival and is the Saudi Arabian entry to the 92nd Academy Awards