Saudi film ‘The Perfect Candidate’ premieres at Venice Film Festival

The movie is a comedic drama. (Supplied)
Updated 01 September 2019

Saudi film ‘The Perfect Candidate’ premieres at Venice Film Festival

DUBAI: The Saudi film “The Perfect Candidate” made its debut at the Venice Film Festival on Wednesday.

Helmed by Haifaa Al-Mansour, the movie has already made history as the first film supported by the Saudi Film Council, which announced its intention to back Saudi Arabian productions and expand the country’s film industry during the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

The movie is a comedic drama about a Saudi female doctor who goes against the traditional patriarchal norms in order to run for municipal election in the Kingdom.

Al-Mansour’s films often focus on the challenges that young women face in male-dominated societies. “The Perfect Candidate” is no different.

Though it tackles serious issues, “The Perfect Candidate” is not solely a drama. It also highlights the humor of the Saudi Arabian people — something that often gets overlooked.

“We have a great sense of humor that people don’t see,” Al-Mansour told Arab News.

“In film, we can show that — it’s something people will discover. Food too. Also, how in Saudi there is a huge distinction between what is public and what is private. In private, people sing, have fun, and are fluid. Once people go out, they are reserved, because that is the way the culture is. With film, you will get a chance to see how people are in private. This is the only way that people can see who we are — by opening our heart through film.”


American singer/song writer John Legend speaks out against Palestinian suffering

John Legend has spoken out against the occupation of Palestine during a podcast. (AFP)
Updated 20 February 2020

American singer/song writer John Legend speaks out against Palestinian suffering

  • Legend spoke on Palestinian rights during a podcast with the online news platform The Intercept earlier this week

DUBAI: The American singer-song writer, John Legend, has spoken out against the occupation of Palestine during a podcast.

“That’s a baseline for human position,” Legend said on Palestinian rights during a podcast with the online news platform The Intercept earlier this week. 

The 41-year-old artist, according to the host Mehdi Hasan, is one of the few celebrities who has linked the fight for human rights, civil liberties, the fight against detention and mass incarceration in the US and in “the occupied Palestinian territories.” “How did you come to that position?” the host asked. 

“There should not be a whole group of people in a county, just because of their nationality or religion, being held in open-air prisons, denied freedom of movement and having their land annexed by settlers. That’s just a human position,” the “All of Me” singer replied. 

“I think, as someone who is observing what’s going on, and saying ‘This is right,’ or ‘This is wrong,’ clearly it’s wrong what is happening to the Palestinians, it’s so obvious,” he added. “Anybody who doesn’t believe that’s the case is being willfully blind, I believe.”

It is not the first time the award-winning star has spoken out in favor of Palestinian rights. 

Last year, Legend appeared on the political panel show “Real Time with Bill Maher,” in which he said: “As progressives, we should also speak up for human rights for Palestinians, and for too long, I think, it has been out of bounds for progressives to speak up for the rights of Palestinians.”