Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ban on movies (almost) lift in Saudia

Is the KAS (Kingdom of Arabie Saudia) ready to go for movies? Since a few months, at least last march, the answer seems to be yes. Before long, the local movie fans will not be obliged to travel a thousand miles away to satisfy their passion as cinemas could open in their country. (Or let’s say reopen, as the ban on the movies has been established “only” in the 1970s.)

Some days ago, "Menahi", a Saudi comedy, was distributed in two cinemas in Jeddah and Taef (not far from Mekkah). Al-Hayat, one of the leading Arab newspapers, found the information important enough to publish it - on the web edition – on the first page. Nothing to be surprised in fact, as the movie has been produced by Rotana, the leading producer/distributor of Arabic music and film in the world, owned by prince Waleed ben Talal, also owner of Al-Hayat (among many other things, for sure !)

A success for the Saudi liberals who did not celebrate too ostensibly their victory. On the contrary they insist in saying that “It was a great experience and hopefully the next films we make will just get better," to quote Al-Maliki the most popular Saudi actor.

Even if the screenings have stopped in Taef a few days later, after violent critics from various well-known religious clerics, for many people in the country this is be just the beginning of more to come.

As usual, here is the link to the more developed post in French.

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