Laurence Michalak, the author of the article; "The Arab in American
Cinema: From Bad to Worse, or Getting Better?" uses a line from a proverb
which states: "truth is stranger than fiction." In the media's presentation of
Arabs, this statement is not true at all. The media, books, television programs,
and especially the movie making industry depict people of this culture by using
frighteningly repugnant stereotypes and the exposure to these materials warp
our sense of reality regarding the true and common way of life for these people.
What will be discussed in this essay is how the movie makers contribute to
this way of thinking, the reasons why they use certain examples that represent
the culture of the Middle East, some things that can be accomplished for
this subject to improve, and what the possible outcome
of this situation could be.
Movie production is big business, and also a big part of American culture.
The movies that are produced influence the understanding of certain subjects.
Films that represent the Arab society influence what is believed to be true about
them. Motion pictures have characterized Middle Easterners as men who are
oversexed, desire white women, own oil businesses, resent democracy, and
are hostile to anyone who lives in a democratic state. Or, portray the Middle
East as a land of flying carpets, genies and other magical experiences.
Although, toward the end of the Twentieth Century a few movies were made
that enact positive behavior in Arab people. However, it is not enough
to erase what is already stored in the memory banks of people.
The movies that influence the masses thinking of Arab culture is
mostly incorrect information. A large amount of oil is produced in the Middle
East, yet the Middle Eastern countries still get their petroleum from...