Screen Scene: What to watch at home this week

What to watch on Netflix this week. (Shutterstock)
Updated 19 November 2018
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Screen Scene: What to watch at home this week

DUBAI: If you plan on staying in this week, here is what to watch.

Medal of Honor
Starring: Joe Martorano, Jake Abel, Tyler Williams
Where: Netflix
An original docuseries that includes liveaction footage. “Medal of Honor” tells the story of eight recipients (three of whom are still alive) of the US military’s highest award for valor — ranging from veterans of World War II and Korea, through Vietnam to Afghanistan.

Westside
Starring: Pia Toscano, Taz Zavala, James Byous, Leo Gallo
Where: Netflix
Reality show following nine struggling musicians in Los Angeles (“struggling” being relative... one of them placed ninth in “American Idol” and a few others have had songs released...). Think “The Real World” crossed with “... Got Talent.” If you can bear to do that.

Outlaw King
Starring: Chris Pine, Florence Pugh, Billy Howie
Where: Netflix
Netflix bills this movie as the “true story of Robert the Bruce,” the Scottish hero who resisted the occupation of Scotland by the English. We don’t know if that means ‘true’ in the sense of ‘historically accurate’ or more in the not-so-true “Braveheart” sense.

Narcos: Mexico
Starring: Diego Luna, Michael Pena, Teresa Ruiz, Alyssa Diaz
Where: Netflix
This spin-off from the wildly popular and acclaimed crime drama series sees the action shift from Colombia to the illegal drug trade in Mexico, charting the rise of the Guadalajara cartel, which DEA agent Kiki Camarena attempts to prevent.

Warrior
Starring: Dar Salim, Danica Curcic, Lars Ranthe
Where: Netflix
Danish-language crime drama that tells the story of war veteran CC as he teams up with his best friend’s widow, police officer Louise, to infiltrate a dangerous biker gang.

 


Omanis praise compatriot for 'historic' Man Booker literature prize

Updated 22 May 2019
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Omanis praise compatriot for 'historic' Man Booker literature prize

MUSCAT: Omanis on Wednesday hailed writer Jokha Alharthi’s “historical achievement” and praised her for bringing “honor” to their Gulf nation after she became the first Arab author to win the Man Booker International prize.
“It is a huge historic achievement for the author, for Oman and for Arabic culture in general,” said Saif Al-Rahbi, an Omani poet, essayist and writer.
“It shows that Omani literature is moving along,” he told AFP.
Alharthi, 40, received the prestigious prize during a ceremony Tuesday in London for her novel “Celestial Bodies” which depicts life in her small Gulf nation.
The 50,000-pound (57,000 euro, $64,000) Man Booker International prize celebrates translated fiction from around the world and is divided equally between the author and the translator.
The judges said Celestial Bodies was “a richly imagined, engaging and poetic insight into a society in transition and into lives previously obscured.”
It tells the story of three sisters who witness the slow pace of development in Omani society during the 20th century.
“I am thrilled that a window has been opened to the rich Arabic culture,” Alharthi told AFP after the ceremony at the Roundhouse in London.
“Oman inspired me but I think international readers can relate to the human values in the book — freedom and love,” she said.
The jury praised an “elegantly structured and taut” novel which “tells of Oman’s coming-of-age through the prism of one family’s losses and loves.”
The director general of Oman’s culture ministry, Said bin Sultan Al-Bussaidi, agreed.
The novel, he said, shows that Alharthi’s work “reflects maturity and has reached an international level.”
“It is an honor for each and every Omani man and woman... (and the prize) will help spread Omani literature across the world,” he added.
Alharthi is the author of two previous collections of short fiction, a children’s book and three novels in Arabic.
She studied classical Arabic poetry at Edinburgh University and teaches at Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat.
In an interview with the BBC at the weekend, Alharthi said she had wanted for a “very long time to write a book about life in Oman (but) couldn’t when she was actually in Oman.”
“But when I went to Edinburgh, the first year was difficult for me, homesickness, cold, so I felt that I need to go back to warmth and feel something from home,” she said.
“Actually writing saved me.”
Her prize-winning novel — which the Guardian newspaper said offers “glimpses into a culture relatively little known in the west” — came out in 2010.
Alharthi said on Tuesday that the novel touches on the history of the slave trade in Oman, an absolute monarchy where Sultan Qaboos, who has ruled since 1970, has been pushing for reform.
For one expert of Arabic and Middle Eastern literature, it could be a game changer for novels emerging from the region.
“It has the potential to orient publishing away from the Arabic novel as answering the question ‘what can we learn about them?’ and toward the Arabic novel as a work of art,” said Marcia Lynx Qualey, editor of ArabLit Quarterly.
“The surge in translation of Arabic-language novels is already in progress, but I think this re-orients publishers somewhat,” she told AFP.
Qualey said there “is definitely a growing interest in works by Gulf authors.”
“In Kuwait, Oman, Saudi, and elsewhere there are authors writing on issues of class, domestic violence, slavery, racism, patriarchy, power, and other issues that are of global interest,” she added.
Celestial Bodies was translated by US academic Marilyn Booth, who teaches Arabic literature at Oxford University.
Jury chair Bettany Hughes said the novel showed “delicate artistry and disturbing aspects of our shared history.”