Summarization of the Article: "The Arab in American Cinema: From Bad to worse, or Getting Better?"

Essay by BeerloverCollege, UndergraduateA-, January 2007

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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...