Sunday, September 22, 2013

Shooting a movie in the cavemen country of Saudi Arabia ...

Saudi Arabia our ally and the ally of the USA, France, Israel, UK and all the slave countries dependent on it either for its oil or petro dollars.  

Dan Zak writing at WashingtonPost:
... She misses being in the van, she says, then clarifies herself. It’s not that she misses being in the van. She misses her mind-set when she was in the van.

The van was a Hyundai. From inside it, through a two-way radio, she directed what is being called the first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia. If she had stepped out of the van into the streets of Riyadh, if she had given direction like a director does, blocking her actors’ movements out in the open, men following her orders — “people would’ve stopped the shooting, because they don’t like it,” Haifaa Al Mansour says. “In Saudi, it’s not against the law, because there’s no law, but it’s against the social conduct. People don’t do that.”

“That” being directing a film in public in the conservative Muslim kingdom, if you’re a woman. And yet here is Al Mansour in a hotel suite in the District’s West End, a silver tray of noontime tea in front of her, across from an easel holding a poster pocked with praise for her film “Wadjda” (pronounced “WA-je-da”). The van was both a necessary capitulation to Saudi codes and a way around them, and the film’s title character employs a similar strategy in Al Mansour’s story: By competing for a cash prize in a Koran memorization contest, feisty 10-year-old Wadjda hopes to buy a bicycle for herself, even though bicycles are off limits to girls.

The first Saudi feature film is directed by a woman and features a female character who subverts the religious patriarchy for her own betterment — is it one small step for a woman, one giant leap for womankind?

Maybe to outside observers. Al Mansour, 39, will lay claim only to small steps, and her film career has proceeded that way until now, as the film rolls out in the United States over the next two months (it opens Friday in the District). In the year since the film premiered at the Venice Film Festival, she has been labeled both pioneer and pariah, though she insists that all she has done is film a slice of everyday Saudi life.......

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