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How does Hollywood movies portray Muslims and Arabs after 9/11 Content Analysis of The Kingdom and Rendition - Essay Example


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How does Hollywood movies portray Muslims and Arabs after 9/11 Content Analysis of The Kingdom and Rendition

In addition, I looked at different articles and books that studied the history of Muslims and Arabs depiction in Western media in general and Hollywood movies specifically to find out how theses portrayals and stereotypes have changed after 9/11 attacks. The second part of my paper involves the analysis of both movies to find out how Hollywood portrays Arabs and Muslims after 9/11. I analyzed and criticized most of the movies’ scenes with regard to the language they used, the places where the scenes of both movies took place and other minor details such as how the directors narrated and articulated different events and scenes with different Islamic symbols. Literature Review The occurrence of 9/11 has since modified the theme of Hollywood movies especially in terms of the involvement of Arab or Muslim characters. Immediately after the unfortunate event, there is no group of terrorists is identified without Arabs and Muslims connections. This appears to strengthen the appeal of the narrative of Hollywood thrillers to the viewing public. As a result more and more the Hollywood films came to associate Arabs with barbaric acts in the American society. This trend reinforces the stereotype of the Arab or the Muslim as the villain in many movies. Noting this development, Shaheen (2008) argued that something must be done. His position is that there is a need to analyze the impact of 9/11 in American filmmaking in order to raise awareness in the increasing use of Arabs as terrorist characters to

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the detriment of the ethnic group both in the mainstream American society and across the world. The depictions encourages a framework in which misconception and unfair labeling are perpetuated by the American public. Movies is critical in shaping public opinion and in influencing perspectives and attitudes because it is a potent component of culture. If the trend is to persist, Arabs will be demonized and the idea of Islam and Muslims as terrorists, violent and extremists will eventually become entrenched in the collective psyche of the American community. Shaheen identified four stereotypes in the manner by which Muslims are depicted unfavorably in Holllywood films. The four stereotypes that dominate the post 9/11 cinema include: 1) the fabulously wealthy; 2) sex maniacs; 3) barbaric and uncouth; and, 4) those that revel in acts of terrorism (Shaheen, 2009). All these stereotypes serve in perpetuating false representation of Arabs as a group. Shaheen states, “Arabs remain the most maligned group in the history of Hollywood. Malevolent stereotypes equating Islam and Arabs with violence have endured for more than a century...Arab=Muslim=Godless Enemy." The manner by which the derogatory treatment is undertaken could be likened to the attitude of the pre-Nazi Germany against the Jews. Shaheen draw the parallel by pointing that, then, Jews were seen as dark, shifty-eyed, venal and entirely different. The same predicament is argued to be faced by Arabs in America today. The repercussions of 9/11 on the Arab depiction in films could considered convenient to Hollywood’s taste for drama, sensationalism and propensity to shock in the name of entertainment. Put in another way, there is so much materials present in the 9/11 narrative and in the classic tales between good and evil or hero and villain, the Arab became the most likely candidate for the latter in fictitious thrillers
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How does Hollywood movies portray Muslims and Arabs after 9/11? “Content Analysis of The Kingdom and Rendition” Noura Alalawi Media Culture Gender and Race JMC 601 Murray State University Abstract This research paper is basically a content analyses paper of two Hollywood Movies (The Kingdom and Rendition)…
How does Hollywood movies portray Muslims and Arabs after 9/11 Content Analysis of The Kingdom and Rendition
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