The full video can be found here.....
Reel Bad Arabs
I watched it with her tonight and then, after coming home watched it again with a critical eye... here is my review.
the “documentarian” suspect at best, but we must press on with an open mind.
music at one point or another
take place in a desert.
the scarecrow argument.
movie shows these, nor do the majority – yet he sets this up as a ‘typical’ view of Arabs.
– the story of Aladdin was taken from the 14th Century SYRIAN fables “One Thousand and One Nights” – as dictated to Antoine Galland by Youhenna Diab “Hanna” – an Arab Syrian storyteller. It’s hard to make an argument that Aladdin is a white man’s stereotype of Arabs when the original story came from an Arab.
“They cut off your ear if they don’t like your face” that line was removed after the movie was released - exactly FOR the cultural sensitivities he espouses. In his desire to vilify the white producers, he neglects to mention this. The replaced line was, “where it's flat and immense, and the heat is intense." The perception of Arabic ‘barbarism’ (a perfectly chosen word, since it comes from the Greek word for the Persians - meaning “not Greek” or “not civilized) is born of the fact that some Arabs will cut off the hand of a thief, they will not touch another with the left hand since that is the hand they wipe themselves with, Sharia law calls for the stoning death of an adulteress…etc..etc… actions that are, indeed, uncivilized to Western eyes. It is not derogatory; it is a statement of fact. To Western eyes, such actions are uncivilized and barbaric.
(8:00m) He then lists a number of movies in which women are treated as chattel (Cannonball Run2, Jewel of the Nile, Protocol, Never Say Never Again and Sahara). Although few Hollywood movies are NOT built upon hyperbole, does this not reflect the FACT that women are considered “less” than men in Arab cultures. The Sharia-following Taliban government in Afghanistan (pre-2003) forbade women from going to school, learning to read, leaving the house without a male escort, speaking to any man without her husband’s permission, wearing anything more revealing than a hijab or burka. It maybe unpleasant to face such facts, but exaggerated or not, women are considered little more than animals in many Arab cultures. Later in the movie he speaks of how Arab women of today are “exceeding in all professions”(12:50m). Do I have to ask if that includes the Sharia-ruled countries where women are not allowed to go to school or learn how to read? A clip of Indiana Jones is used to show how the image of Arabic women are “locked in the past”(13:42m), yet in this example, the movie is set in the 1930’s. A modern woman of any culture would be out of place.
Immediately following this tirade of how Arab women are not treated as intelligent, he bemoans how recently Arab women are ‘projected as a bomber… a terrorist.” (13:15m) This recent change in perception has followed the recent inclusion of women as suicide bombers and jihadists. You might say in this case art is imitating life, not visa-versa.
Fact1 - Arab slave trade took place during the Roman Empire, and this scene, in all likelihood, is factually accurate. When the author claims that Hollywood is “injecting Arabs” in movies “having nothing to do with the Middle East” (12:10m) he is showing an ignorance of the worldwide trade of the Roman Empire during the time. The Romans traded with Arabs, and they traded with Arabs for slaves and gladiators. The movie is factually correct.
of American bullets (not exactly showing Arabs as ‘inhuman’)
HIGHEST GROSSING FILMS IN AMERICAN HISTORY
Movie …. Enemy or Villain
1) Gone With The Wind – Poverty, Yankees, war…… no Arabs
2) Star Wars – Darth Vader, Old white guy in a black suit, the Empire (a buncha’ guys with English accents) Stormtroopers…. No Arabs, unless you want to make the leap that Sandpeople = Arabs, in that case they have a bit-part
3) The Sound of Music – White guys, namely Nazis
4) ET – The Extra-Terrestrial – The Federal Government, a buncha’ white guys in white suits, not an Arab in sight
5) The Ten Commandments – hmmmm, it does take place in the Middle East but I’m not sure if Phararoh counts as an “Arab”.. he certainly wasn’t Muslim, as Mohammed was still 6,000 years in the future
6) Titanic – Iceberg, rich white guy, class warfare… lotsa’ challenges, but no Arabs
7) Jaws – daaaa dum daaaaa dum dumdum dumdum… mmmm 1 shark 0 Arabs
8) Doctor Zhivago – Russians, Communists, or was it the Tzarists? Either way.. not a single Arab
9) The Exorcist – Lucifer, Belzebub, Legion, Lilith… not an Arab
10) Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – I don’t think the Wicked Witch was an Arab or Muslim
11) One Hundred and One Dalmatians – never clearly defined, but I think DeVille is an Irish or Scott name, isn’t it?
12) Star Wars – The Empire Strikes Back – same as #2, except add Boba Fett… ethnicity unknown (Are Mandelorians Arabic?)
13) Ben Hur – Takes place in the Middle East but A-Salaam! The bad guy is a Roman! In fact ALL the Romans are bad guys! (accept for Ben’s adopted Dad)
14) Avatar – Rich, greedy, Capitalist white guys
15) Star Wars – Return of the Jedi – Still no Arabs in the Galaxy far, far Away
16) The Sting – non-Arabic Chicago thug (Italian, maybe?)
17) Raiders of the Lost Ark – Nazis (again), competing French archeologist. Oh yeah, and one scimitar-wielding Arab another bit-part villain.
18) Jurassic Park – Reconstituted Dinosaurs, none of which pray to Allah… oh yeah, and greedy, rich white capitalists again
19) The Graduate - Been a while since I watched this one, pretty sure it isn’t an Arab
20) Star Wars – Phantom Menace – Jar Jar Binks, no! wait, he was the annoyance… bad guys? The old white-guy senator, a bunch of robots, and some Nimodians that if anything resembled Orientals
21) Fantasia – I remember alligators, runaway broomsticks, a mountain sized demon, but no Arabs or Muslims
22) The Godfather – Italian mobsters, not ONE of whom was named Hakim!
23) Forrest Gump – villain? Not one I can think of, except maybe his own disabilities
24) Mary Poppins – ahh the rich old white guys again, this time MAJOR capitalists!
25) The Lion King – Was Scar a Muslim? An Arab? Depends on which part of Africa he’s from, I suppose. Let’s be nice and say maybe.
26) Grease – Mmmmm I don’t think Americans knew what an Arab was in the 50’s
27) Thunderball – SPECTRE, much more Soviet than Arab, and the Nassau scenes… mmm.. nope!
28) The Dark Knight – Joker’s not an Arab or a Muslim, but definitely a terrorist. Gotta’ say no on this one
29) The Jungle Book – depends on how you anthromorphize the animals. I’m saying no.
30) Sleeping Beauty – nope
31) Shrek 2 – nope
32) Ghostbusters – the Federal Government and Zool who happened to come from the Middle East – but neither a Musim nor Arab he be.
33) Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid… nope, nada, zilch
Okay, you’re getting the point. After these it’s Love Story, Spider-Man, Independence Day, Home Alone, Pinocchio, Cleopatra, Beverly Hills Cop, Goldfinger, Airport, American Graffiti, The Robe, Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Around The World in 80 Day, Bambi, Blazing Saddles, Batman, Bells of St. Mary’s… the top 50 highest grossing movies in history and not a single major Arab or Muslim villain in any of them! (In Airport the villain is a white guy, American businessman played by Van Heflin)
The rest of the list is here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_highest-grossing_films_in_Canada_and_the_United_States
In AFI’s list of 100 best villains, I couldn’t find a single Muslim or Arab in the top 50 (I didn’t find numbers 51-100)
So, in summary, White guys, Capitalists, Nazis, Wicked Witches, black guys, Orientals, women, and even children are found on our list of movie villains… but not a single Arab or Muslim.