Watching American Movies in Dubai


I’ve seen two movies in at the nearby cinema this week. The first, Zero Dark Thirty, was about the assassination of Osama Bin Laden. It involved the torture of many Arabs, and finally the execution of Arab men and women. I was watching this in a movie theater in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. Men and women in Arab dress sat in the theater with me. I must say I wondered how they felt seeing people who dressed and spoke like them tortured and shot by Americans.  The second movie we saw was Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino’s latest super-violent cartoon about slavery. The audience seemed to enjoy it, laughing at several points, even though they were probably reading the subtitles in either French or Arabic. The movie is set in 1858, in America, but oddly enough slavery was only outlawed here in 1962. In Hatta, near the border of Oman, less than an hour’s drive from Dubai, there is a tree under which African slaves were sold just fifty years ago.

 

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