Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Interesting Stuff about "The Kingdom"


The following is from Peter Berg, the Director of The Kingdom --" a disturbingly gritty, bravely relevant film about a team of special agents investigating the bombing of an American post in Saudi Arabia."

"We couldn't film in Saudi Arabia -- it's culturally prohibited in any form. We wanted to be able to film in the Middle East, so we went to Dubai and asked the government. They said no because there's a terrorist component to the movie. But their sister city, Abu Dhabi, said yes. And Abu Dhabi is somewhat competitive with Dubai, so not only did they say yes, but they pretty much gave us the keys to the city. Nearly anything we asked for they gave us. Almost as a joke, I asked if we could have an Apache helicopter flying thirty feet over a convoy of Suburbans through the middle of downtown Abu Dhabi, and they said, 'Absolutely. No problem. What else?'"

"What I remember most about being in the Middle East with Jamie Foxx is that the Abu Dhabi government insisted that he have security. I was in the restaurant in the hotel having lunch and about twenty-five massive-looking Arab men with machine guns sticking out the bottom of their suits came walking in. And then Jamie came walking in and then another twenty-five behind him. They had given him their highest level of protection--what they would offer an American president. He also had a food taster and an ambulance following him. I didn't get any. Just Jamie. They knew him.
I'm wondering when Hollywood will make movies that might change the perspective of someone growing up in the Middle East toward the United States. It is a very effective tool. Everyone loves a good movie. They know all our movie stars. I believe it could make a big difference in how we are perceived if made properly. Not a propaganda film, like SICKO, but an entertainment film. Maybe about two friends, one Muslim and one American. How they each perceive this war on terror. That kind of thing. A film that shows that not all Americans are like Britney Spears or Paris Hilton and not all Marines are like the ones in "Jarhead."
Hmm...Who am I kidding?