March 25, 2012

Middle Eastern cinema

Yesterday I decided on a whim to watch Sex and the City 2 because it takes place in Abu Dhabi. Or rather, that is the claim. Nothing was filmed here, it was all filmed in Morocco, which I could have easily found out online and saved myself the two and a half hours. But I watched it. I didn't necessarily find it racist, (the girls are too air headed for it to be actually mean-spirited,) but I definitely found it boring. The only enjoyable thing about it was when people around them spoke in Arabic. I still giggle when people say "yalla."

The next movie I'm planning to watch is City of Life, which was actually filmed in Dubai and produced by an Emirati. I wish there were more films here though. I have a friend who watches a ton of movies, but the closest he can get to a portrayal of the Middle East is Don't Mess With the Zohan. (Which was surprisingly not that racist.) They're working on the industry's growth, of course, but I want it now!

8 comments:

  1. Yeah, I never understood the appeal of Sex and the City. But then again, my favorite show is SpongeBob, so it's just not my kind of humour.

    I think "yalla" is "Ya Allah." LOL, I am Muslim, sorry, I had to spell it out correctly.

    I work with a few Arabs and I notice one of them says Yanni a lot. I've been tempted to start using it myself. Do you know what that means?

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    1. Like Sabrina said below, yanni means "I mean." Which means it can be used often, haha. Yanni, every time you say a sentence you mean it.

      Yalla is ya allah the same way don't is do not, I think... like it's not meant to be disrespectful to shorten it. It is apparently sometimes disrespectful to say "wallah" though. I overheard someone chewing out her friend for lying and then saying wallah when she was definitely not swearing by God that she was being truthful. (Wallah means "I swear to God.")

      Spongebob is good too, hehe. I just like all the drama of Sex and the City. Not enough drama on Spongebob for me.

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  2. UAE

    Hey, I feel like you might find the articles on the above site interesting given where you are right now!

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  3. ..And to answer Rafia's question, yanni means "I Mean."

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  4. How do Middle Eastern films compare to American films? Do people watch a lot of films there?

    I am an ignorant American. Forgive me for my questions.

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    1. I haven't seen enough Middle Eastern films to answer your first question yet. I'm working on it and I'll get back to you. One of my friends constantly raves about this Egyptian movie that sounds quite awesome from the synopsis. And Egypt, apparently, was/is the biggest producer of media here. But that was learned from an Egyptian, so she might be biased, haha.

      People do watch a lot of films, yes. The cinemas in the malls all show (censored versions of) American movies, so the people I hang out with see those, of course. At one of the theaters right now they are showing 7 American movies and 1 Hindi movie. Occasionally I've seen Arabic movies advertised, but it's rare.

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    2. I should add that this is specific to Abu Dhabi cinemas. And that Abu Dhabi people are extremely Westernized. In other parts of the Middle East, it's probably way easier to find cinemas showing films in Arabic.

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