Kanye West praised for new single on racism, slammed for ‘billionaire’ tweet

West was slammed on social media for touting his family’s wealth. (AFP)
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Updated 01 July 2020

Kanye West praised for new single on racism, slammed for ‘billionaire’ tweet

LOS ANGELES: Kanye West received both plaudits and criticism on Tuesday when he released a powerful new single about racism and faith a day after congratulating his wife Kim Kardashian on what he said was her billionaire status.

West was slammed on social media for touting his family’s wealth in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic that has seen more than 36 million Americans lose their jobs.

Hours later, he released the emotional single and video “Wash Us in the Blood,” that blended references to religion and systemic racism in the United States with imagery from recent protests about deaths of Black people at the hands of police.

Some critics called the release, featuring Travis Scott, West’s best music in years.

Britain’s Guardian newspaper said West’s latest release was an “intensely potent study of race and faith” that presented an “apocalyptic vision of America.”


Arab movies to debut at Toronto International Film Festival

Updated 03 August 2020

Arab movies to debut at Toronto International Film Festival

DUBAI: Organizers of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) have released a new lineup of 50 movies for screening at this year’s event including a number of Arabic flicks.

Egyptian filmmaker Mayye Zayed’s “Ash Ya Captain” (“Lift Like a Girl”), an intimate journey into the life of an aspiring athlete, will premiere at the 45th edition of the festival, due to take place between Sept. 10 and 20.

Also featured will be Palestinian filmmaking twins Tarzan and Arab Nasser’s “Gaza Mon Amour,” a satire on love and desire. The brothers’ second feature film, it tells the tale of a 60-year-old fisherman who is secretly in love with a market dressmaker. As the story unfolds, the fisherman discovers an ancient Greek statue that will trouble him.

British director Ben Sharrock’s “Limbo” will see Egyptian-British actor Amir El-Masry star as a Syrian asylum-seeker who finds himself living on a small Scottish island.

Egyptian-British actor Amir El-Masry stars in British director Ben Sharrock’s “Limbo.” (Toronto International Film Festival)

Meanwhile, American director Spike Lee’s film version of David Byrne’s hit Broadway show “American Utopia” will open at the event which will be capped off by American-Indian director Mira Nair’s “A Suitable Boy.”

In addition, there will be showings of Iranian directors Manijeh Hekmat’s “Bandar Band” and Farnoosh Samadi’s “180 Degree Rule.”

Most screenings will take place virtually due to government restrictions imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

Cameron Bailey, TIFF’s artistic director, said in a released statement: “We began this year planning for a festival much like our previous editions, but along the way we had to rethink just about everything.

“This year’s line-up reflects that tumult. The names you already know are doing brand-new things this year, and there’s a whole crop of exciting new names to discover.”

The full schedule of the festival will be released on Aug. 25.