[Marxism] The Past; Wadjda | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Dec 22 11:47:57 MST 2013

In many ways, the biggest impacts made by Iran and Saudi Arabia this 
year were not on the battlefield or at the diplomatic roundtable but in 
film. “The Past”, made by Asghar Farhadi, was Iran’s official selection 
for the 86th Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. I always have had 
problems with the designation “foreign” when it comes to film since it 
smacks of Hollywood corporate narcissism, more so in this instance since 
I nominated “The Past” for the N.Y. Film Critics Online best picture of 
2013. Period. “Wadjda” was the first film ever directed by Haifaa al 
Mansour, who grew up in a small town in Saudi Arabia and now lives in 
Bahrain. The film depicts the struggle of an 11-year-old Saudi girl to 
own a bicycle in violation of patriarchal religious norms. It is a tale 
reminiscent of “Offside”, the 2006 Iranian film about young women trying 
to sneak into a football stadium to watch a World Cup qualifying match. 
Ironically, despite all the bitter rivalries over whether Sunni or Shias 
represent Muslim orthodoxy, the two authoritarian states have much in 
common when it comes to women’s rights or the lack thereof.

full: http://louisproyect.org/2013/12/22/the-past-wadjda/

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