Here’s an important article in the Washington Post on the power filmmaking which is beginning to take hold on the Arab world–on a grassroots level.
Khalif is part of a new group of young Saudi movie buffs who are making films that question their country’s strict, puritanical mores and customs and its ban on movie theaters. The group, called Talashi, which means Fade Out, includes a pharmacist, a teacher, a lawyer and five film reviewers, mostly secular Saudis who say their worldviews were influenced by their love of film and the worlds to which it has exposed them.
But in pursuing their passion, the group is confronting the kingdom’s powerful clerics and going up against decades of culture that branded movies a Western evil that would strip the country of its conservative Muslim nature.
Filmmakers sometimes arrange for private screenings at their homes or at the homes of friends. Over the past couple of years, short films have been shown sporadically in auditoriums and literary clubs. To circumvent the wrath of powerful anti-film groups, the showings are advertised in the local media as “educational films” or “visual shows.”