Monday, March 14, 2011

Cinema Politica: Reel Bad Arabs

Together as part of the international documentary screening network Cinema Politica, Gallery 1C03 and The University of Winnipeg Students’ Association (UWSA) are pleased to present the film Reel Bad Arabs at
Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall (Third Floor, University of Winnipeg) on Thursday, March 17 at 7 p.m.

Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People

Sut Jhally / USA / 2006 / 60 min

This groundbreaking documentary dissects a slanderous aspect of cinematic history that has run virtually unchallenged form the earliest days of silent film to today's biggest Hollywood blockbusters. Featuring acclaimed author Dr. Jack Shaheen, the film explores a long line of degrading images of Arabs--from Bedouin bandits and submissive maidens to sinister sheikhs and gun-wielding "terrorists"--along the way offering devastating insights into the origin of these stereotypic images, their development at key points in US history, and why they matter so much today.

Shaheen shows how the persistence of these images over time has served to naturalize prejudicial attitudes toward Arabs and Arab culture, in the process reinforcing a narrow view of individual Arabs and the effects of specific US domestic and international policies on their lives. By inspiring critical thinking about the social, political, and basic human consequences of leaving these Hollywood caricatures unexamined, the film challenges viewers to recognize the urgent need for counter-narratives that do justice to the diversity and humanity of Arab people and the reality and richness of Arab history and culture.

Reel Bad Arabs was selected for screening by The University of Winnipeg Muslim Students Association. Discussion following the film will be facilitated by Shahina Siddiqui, Executive Director of Islamic Social Services.

For more information about Reel Bad Arabs please visit: For more information about the Cinema Politica Network please visit:

All are welcome to this free event! Donations will be accepted in order to facilitate future Cinema Politica events at The University of Winnipeg.

Gallery 1C03 and the UWSA wish to thank Cinema Politica for making it possible for us to participate in this network. We are always grateful to the Canada Council for the Arts for generously supporting this initiative.

No comments: