Black Panther the ideal choice for Saudi cinema debut, says film critic

Jeddah-based film blogger Maher Mosly
Updated 19 April 2018

Black Panther the ideal choice for Saudi cinema debut, says film critic

  • No other movie suits the occasion as much as Black Panther does, says Mosly
  • Blogger predicts Saudi film industry to take off

JEDDAH: Few people are more ready for the opening of Saudi’s first cinema in more than 35 years than Maher Mosly, a Jeddah-based film blogger with a YouTube channel dedicated to his reviews in Arabic.

Mosly began reviewing films in 2014, watching films on iTunes about three months after release and traveling to Dubai every few months to watch batches of the big new releases. He saw Black Panther in Dubai, and believes it is an ideal choice for the new cinema’s first screening.

“No other movie suits the occasion as much as Black Panther does. It is a great choice because until now, we do not know the criterion that will be applied in cinemas here. Of course there will be regulations on what is safe to show, whether it is political or too different from Saudi culture.

“Black Panther is a safe choice: it is suitable for ages 13 and above, families can enjoy it, it has no controversial themes and is completely a fantasy genre.” 

He predicted that cinemas will be popular due to their novelty. “Tickets will sell, consumption will be high.” 

The new cinemas will also boost the film industry in the Kingdom. “Our movies are revealed at global festivals, but they are short films, and we never get a chance to see them. With the cinemas finally opening in the Kingdom, we will go into the industry. There will be professional institutes for theater, voice-acting etc,” Mosly said. 

“It won’t be something you do to pass the time any more,” he added. “It will be a profession from the start. We will have producers.”

Saudi film fans will no longer have to travel to neighbouring Gulf countries for screenings. “In Bahrain or Dubai, most who attend the cinemas are Saudis,” Mosly pointed out.  

“I believe that in a year, our cinemas will be more like the ones all over the Gulf countries. Dubai is doing a great job. It’s not accepting all movies, but not rejecting all movies either. Big movies are entering their cinemas, but with the necessary restrictions of course,” he said.

“Cinemas are never not a part of entertainment around the world. The easiest entertainment plan I can think of is to take my wife and kids out for dinner and later go to the movies. Cinemas are essential to entertainment.”


DiplomaticQuarter: Dutch envoy, Saudi minister discuss ways to spread a message of harmony

Updated 20 February 2020

DiplomaticQuarter: Dutch envoy, Saudi minister discuss ways to spread a message of harmony

RIYADH: Netherlands Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Joost Reintjes called on Saudi Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Asheikh this week.

The two men discussed inter-faith dialogue and the best ways to spread a message of peaceful coexistence, among other matters of mutual interest.

The Saudi Press Agency reported that Al-Asheikh “affirmed that the Kingdom has contributed (to) spreading the principles of tolerance and peaceful coexistence among people and followers of various religions, emanating from the teachings of Islam, which are based on moderation and rejecting extremism.”

The Dutch ambassador reportedly expressed his appreciation for the Kingdom’s efforts to enhance dialogue between followers of different religions, cultures and civilizations around the world.

Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands have a long history of good relations. Speaking at last year’s National Day celebrations, Reintjes said, “Both countries have benefited from strong historical ties over the years.”

Highlighting success stories and cooperation between the two countries in various sectors, he added, “We hope to strengthen these relations in the future.”

Bilateral relations between the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia can be traced as far back as the 17th century, but were formalized with the opening of a Dutch consulate in Jeddah, which was eventually upgraded to an embassy and moved to Riyadh in 1985.