Reel Bad Arabs

I just came across Reel Bad Arabs film by Dr. Jack Shaheen who is an Oxford Research Scholar, and the recipient of two Fulbright teaching awards. He holds degrees from the Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pennsylvania State University, and the University of Missouri. He has appeared on national network programs such as CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio, Nightline, Good Morning America, 48 Hours, and The Today Show.

I’m really happy to see someone coming up with the book and film

The main question of Dr. Jack in the book and the film is
And we never see Palestinians who suffers in refugees camps, who are victimized and are killed, innocent Palestinians. Is there an unwritten code in Hollywood says we cannot and will not humanize Palestinians, and why can’t we humanize Palestinians in the same way we humanize Israelis? Isn’t the life of the Palestinian child, media wise, hollywood wise, politically wise as important and as human as the life of an Israeli child? and if the answer to that is yes, why can’t we see that on silver screen?

SYNOPSIS

This groundbreaking documentary dissects a slanderous aspect of cinematic history that has run virtually unchallenged from 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.


Buy the DVD

I wonder if the Royal Film Commission or the Cultural Affairs office at the American Embassy would host a screening for this film.