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Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People
This groundbreaking documentary dissects a slanderous aspect of cinematic history that has run virtually unchallenged form the earliest days of silent film to today's biggest Hollywood blockbusters. Featuring acclaimed author Dr. Jack Shaheen, the film explores a long line of degrading images of Arabs- from Bedouin bandits and submissive maidens to sinister sheikhs and gun-wielding "terrorists" - a long the way offering devastating insights into the origin of these stereotypic images, their development at key points in US history, and why they matter so much today. Shaheen shows how the persistence of these images over time has served to naturalize prejudicial attitudes toward Arabs and Arab culture, in the process reinforcing a narrow view of individual Arabs and the effects of specific US domestic and internationl policies on their lives.
Analyzing over 900 Hollywood films made from 1896 to 2004, Dr. Shaheen exposes American cinema's systematic and pervasive degradation and dehumanization of Arabs.