Filming the Modern Middle East: Politics in the Cinemas of by Lina Khatib

By Lina Khatib

This present day the world's media have a urgent have to comprehend and interpret the trendy heart East. during this well timed e-book, Lina Khatib examines how modern American cinema and the cinemas of the Arab international give a contribution to this worldwide preoccupation of their representations of heart jap politics. This exam of Hollywood because the dominant Western interpreter of the Arab international additionally perspectives the Arab global by way of the way it perceives itself and others via its motion pictures. It covers motion pictures made within the united states, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine over the ultimate twenty years of the final century and into the current, exhibiting how those cinemas characterize significant political matters within the center East, from the Arab-Israeli clash, throughout the Gulf warfare, to Islamic fundamentalism. It additionally uncovers the demanding situations awarded by way of Arab cinemas to Hollywood's methods of representing center East politics. The publication is going past an research of distinction, to deal with similarities in how political subject matters are chosen as good as within the cinematic language that provides them lifestyles. for instance, it seems to be at cinema as a device of nationalism within the united states and the Arab international and at how the representations of political concerns by way of Hollywood and Arab cinemas are educated by means of the political and historic contexts within which they take place. This e-book is galvanized via Edward Said's writing on Orientalism, yet it is going extra, to teach not just how the 'Orient' is developed via the 'Occident', but additionally how the 'Orient' itself is fed on by way of energy struggles either inner and exterior. "Filming the fashionable heart East" accordingly establishes a tremendous hyperlink among discourses of the West and people of the East.

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Algerian cinema differs from Egypt’s in this context, as Islamic fundamentalists are portrayed as a threat due to their growing control of the national space. In Rachida, a film about a school teacher attacked by fundamentalists for refusing to plant a bomb in her school, the main character, Rachida, and her mother are forced to leave Algiers to escape the fundamentalist control of the city, only to find that fundamentalist power has reached the remote village where they have sought refuge. In Bab el-Oued City, fundamentalists and their government-affiliated leaders control the Bab el-Oued neighborhood in Algiers.

The importance of this attention to history is emphasized by Soja and Hooper (1993), who argue that a proper analysis of space pays attention to the spatial aspects of the historical processes of those “uneven developments” (p. 185) that result in spaces becoming sites of struggle.

The camera works with the American soldiers as they cross the Iraqi barrier, with cameras placed on army vehicles traveling through the desert, allowing us to see the landscape unfold in front of our eyes and giving us a taste of the American sense of mastery. The camera also travels on ground level with the soldiers. This is not to give a sense of empathy with the land (by not objectifying it from above, for example), but to give that empathy to the soldiers as they explore unknown landscape. Penetrating the American landscape The threat of the Other is not confined to foreign lands.

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