Wednesday, October 17, 2007

UAE shows The Kingdom other Gulf states ignore

by von Simeon Kerr from Financial Times Deutschland

Hollywood's The Kingdom blockbuster has been banned by some Gulf states for tackling the politically sensitive topic of terrorism in Saudi Arabia, but the film is being run in cinemas in the United Arab Emirates ... The audience cheered as actor Jennifer Garner stabbed an Islamist militant in the neck, though there was a tense silence as the film's terrorist mastermind called for infidels to be driven out of Muslim lands ... Now Abu Dhabi's media ambitions are growing. The town last month pledged $500m for co-productions with Time Warner in a deal that will see the US group set up a theme park ... With the lure of oil money, several Hollywood film-makers are descending on Abu Dhabi to seek funding - with the mogul Harvey Weinstein addressing a finance conference. But one taboo remains: Israel. Abu Dhabi's Middle East Film Festival had to drop an Israeli film once its listing came to light. The UAE has no diplomatic relations with Israel.

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