Pedro Pérez Rosado | Drama, Fiction

2012 | 97 minutes | Spain

With unprecedented access to the Sahrawi community, Pedro Pérez Rosado, provides a voice to this unrepresented group of refugees living in a Saharan refugee camp and their struggle for independence.


Fatimetu is born to a Sahrawi family in a Saharan refugee camp in Algeria and later sent to live with foster parents in Spain. After the death of her mother, she returns to the camp. She has been absent for sixteen years. Her brother now expects her to stay and look after her sister Hayat, who has difficulty walking. Fatimetu, who unlike the other women can drive a car, finds work transporting animals, meat, and bread from one administrative district to another. In time, the Sahrawi people become accustomed to the woman who tears about the desert without a hijab in her beaten up jeep. But Fatimetu is torn between life in the desert and her memories of her family and friends in Spain.

With unprecedented access to the Sahrawi community, Pedro Pérez Rosado, provides a voice to this unrepresented group of refugees and their struggle for independence. The outstanding performance of newcomer Nadhira Mohamed, who was herself born in a refugee camp in Tinduf, landed her the Best Actress award at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival.


"Actress Nadhira Mohamed convincingly portrays a young person caught between two worlds. Made on location in Tindouf province, and including a unique original music score, Wilaya is a notable example of emerging independent international cinema." — Linda Frederiksen, Washington State University, EMRO

"With a strong insider's eye for detail (it's clear that Perez Rosado's love and concern for the region is genuine), the pic is always thought-provoking in its exploration of themes relating to exile and how it distorts selfhood, and to the clash between modernity and tradition." — Jonathan Holland, Variety

"Featuring terrific widescreen cinematography by Miguel Morales (Solitary Fragments) and a captivating score by Sahwari singer Aziza Brahim (who plays a neighboring widowed mother), the film boasts enough technical prowess to capture the muted, semi-nomadic lifestyle of its characters." — Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter

"Wilaya offers insight into a little-publicized world and derives most of its dramatic pull from the charismatic presence of lead actress Nadhira Mohamed." — Screen Daily

"Beautifully filmed and provides so much deep conversation…particularly dealing with human rights, identity and gender." — K. Angelique Dwyer, Assistant Professor of Spanish & Latin American Studies, Gustavus Adolphus College

Main credits

Perez Rosado, Pedro (screenwriter)
Perez Rosado, Pedro (film director)
Morales, José María (film producer)
Mohamed, Nadhira (actor)
Mohamed, Memona (actor)
Sidameg, Ainina (actor)
Brahim, Aziza (actor)

Other credits

Director of photography, Oscar Durán; editor, Iván Aledo; music, Aziza Brahim.

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Berlin International Film Festival
Abu Dhabi Film Festival - Best Actress, New Horizons
Málaga Spanish Film Festival - Best Original Soundtrack

DIRECTOR: Pedro Pérez Rosado


YEAR: 2012

GENRE: Drama, Fiction

LANGUAGE: Spanish; Arabic

COLOR / B&W: Color

GRADE LEVEL: Middle School, High School, College, Adults



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