7th APRIL 2015 - Vol.XXXVIII No.018
Local News

Ban on US terror film

A HOLLYWOOD film that explores the 'war on terror' through a fictional story happening in Saudi Arabia has been banned in Bahrain.

Information Ministry publications and Press director Jamal Dawood confirmed yesterday the film, The Kingdom, had been banned, but would not comment further.

The action film, due to be released in the US on Thursday is about a team of FBI agents who travel to Saudi Arabia to investigate a bombing of an American housing compound in Riyadh.

The terrorist bombing takes the front off two tall buildings and kills over 100 oil workers.

The aftermath of the bombing is similar to the scene following the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Dhahran.

The movie, shot in Abu Dhabi and Arizona, US, also explores the conflicts that arise from the cultural differences between Saudi officials and FBI agents. In addition, it contains stereotypical scenes of suicide bombers, an attempted beheading of a Jew on camera and Saudis objecting to an Israeli passport stamp.

"It was important to me that this film not lead with its politics," said movie director Peter Berg in interviews with the Press.

"If I want to be politically educated, there are other ways I would do that than go to a Hollywood film.

"So, to me, the film had to work as an exciting and dynamic procedural.

"At its core, it is about FBI agents trying to investigate homicides in a complicated environment. That's it.

"But, obviously, politics and religion do play a strong role and I wanted to make a film that responded to the times that we're living in."

The American investigators are played by leader Jamie Foxx and team members Jennifer Garner, Chris Cooper and Jason Bateman and their Saudi minder Arab-Israeli actor Ashraf Barhom.

"Peter wanted to catch things on the fly and flash to keep the movie organic and quick," said Foxx in interviews.

"But I think the beauty in this movie is the relationship between Ashraf and my character, how they share human things.

"You know, whenever you watch TV, it's propaganda, they're the bad guys, and over there they may be saying that Americans are the bad guys. "But ... I think it's beautiful how Peter shows the Muslims in their natural life; eating, playing with their kids." [email protected]

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