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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

UAE Filmmakers Tackle Sensitive Issues?

This story was originally published two years ago. Of course many advances have been made since then. Nevertheless, it's critical of the Dubai film festival and indicative of how blogs can be used to say things mainstream media, who sponsor such festivals, can't.
IndieWire reported on emerging Emirati filmmakers being celebrated at the Dubai International Film Festival. My favourite line in the story comes from Waleed Al Shehhi, whose film "Ahmad Sulaiman" offers a glimpse into the life of a one-legged, mute Emirati. He said "We have no problem discussing sensitive issues in the UAE, " adding, "our films try to reflect aspects of our society."
Hmm..."aspects of our society"....has anyone seen a film about exploiting construction workers or a story about Dubai's inability to regulate traffic violators which results in one of the highest death tolls in the world? It's great local filmmakers are getting exposure. Hopefully this will inspire more Emiratis to make films about local sensitive issues.
After all, it took an Australian, using hidden cameras, to tell the story of 7 year old camel jockeys who were abused by their local keepers. While the prized camels were taken for daily dips in their custom built swimming pools and received the best medical care that money could buy the filmmakers shot images of the child jockeys, sleeping on floors in ramshackle huts. Their film tackled a "sensitive issue" and camel jockeys are now banned, but I didn't see that footage being celebrated here in the UAE.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

While they still have a long, long way to go...there was also a film called 'Under Construction', about a labourer waiting for his wages, which were being withheld by his employer.

7:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree. The only thing that can actually bring a change for the better is focusing on “real” issues.

9:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

born in uae i agree that it is a beautiful and animated country, however like all other countries it has its cons. what we need to work on are our social issues and slowly hopefully with the younger generation we will be able to remove the age old barriers.

4:09 AM  
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If we focus on real issues, that is when we feel UAE filmmakers are working...Buy custom essays from the best UAE essay writing service today and be assured of getting better grades.

8:21 PM  

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