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Hollywood’s Reel Bad Arabs: Problems And Prospects

Dr. Jack Shaheen presents his groundbreaking documentary and his new books Guilty Hollywood’s Verdict on Arabs After 9/11 and Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People which dissect a slanderous aspect of cinematic history that has run virtually unchallenged from the earliest days of silent film to today’s biggest Hollywood blockbusters. The works explore a long line of degrading images of Arabs – from Bedouin bandits and submissive maidens to sinister sheikhs and gun-wielding “terrorists” – along the way offering devastating insights into the origin of these stereotypic images, their development at key points in U.S. 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 Muslims and the effects of specific U.S. domestic and international policies on their lives. By inspiring critical thinking about the social, political, and basic human consequences of leaving these Hollywood caricatures unexamined, Shaheen challenges viewers to recognize the urgent need for counter-narratives that do justice to the diversity and humanity of Arab people and the reality and richness of Arab history and culture.

The talk and screening will be followed by a discussion and Q&A with Dr. Jack Shaheen and Jack (John Kuo Wei) Tchen, founding director of the A/P/A Institute at NYU.

Co-sponsored by: the Hagop Kervorkian Center and Near Eastern Studies; Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program and Department of Cinema Studies at Tisch School of the Arts; and the NYU Center for Media, Culture and History/Center for Religion and Media

Organizer: A/P/A Institute at NYU
Venue: 721 Broadway, Rm 648
Address:
721 Broadway, 6th Floor
New York, 10003
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