MANAMA // With a new movie, a group of Bahrainis hopes to address the issue of sectarianism head-on by depicting its effect on society through the eyes of a typical Bahraini family.The movie, which is expected to be released in March, joins the ranks of recent Saudi and Kuwaiti television series that addressed domestic terrorism, another side effect of the 2003 Gulf war.Haneen ("Yearning") tells the story of two Bahraini families brought together under one roof before the eight-year-long Iraq-Iran war and how what followed in the region pulled them apart and put them in conflict with each other."The movie addresses sectarianism by reliving some of the events in Bahrain's recent history and experiencing them through the story of the family," Khalid al Ruwai, the film's screenwriter and one of its actors, said."We do not favour any side and we realise that the issue cannot be resolved easily, but we want the movie to reflect the reality of the situation as it is."The director, Hussain al Hulaibi, said the script was worked on for more than a year and a half and that the movie was a mix between dramatic fiction and actual events."The plot line has romance, but [this] is more of a political movie and in it there is yearning and nostalgia for the beautiful past, a time when love used to fill hearts," he said."By telling the story we tried to not offend anyone or a particular sect. We just want to convey the reality of the situation and we reflect on the extremists trying to destabilise the country, which belongs to all sects."Al Hulaibi pointed out that the movie is open-ended, subject to various interpretations, because he and the others involved in the film wanted it to be a subject of debate."The solutions rest in the hands of the civil society and the governments. Our role is to shed light on the issue and reach out to all those who practise sectarianism or are affected by it and to encourage bringing about that desired change," he said."The ability of art to deliver a message, be it through film, theatre, or any other form, is much stronger than a political statement because it appeals to the hearts, minds and sensations of all people in contrast to a political statement, which is written with a certain group in mind."He added that the movie was meant as a message to everyone who practises sectarianism and attempts to sideline others."It is meant for those who attempt to challenge others to enforce a particular agenda or set of beliefs on the rest basically by eliminating those who differ with them," he said.Akram Miknas, a Lebanese investor who lives in Bahrain and is bankrolling the movie, said Haneem's appeal and message were not limited to a Bahraini audience."We hope the movie will provide a strong push for much-needed coexistence in Bahrain and across the Arab world because we all had suffered from its lacking. "As a Lebanese, I am still suffering from sectarian tension that we created with no justifiable reason, at a time when the things that bring us together are much larger than the small things that neither God nor his Prophets welcome," Mr Miknas, who heads the Bahrain Film Production Company, said."Haneen is a movie about yearning for love, life and coexistence. It is hard to present any solutions through the movie for the problem of sectarianism, but what we hope to achieve is to encourage the public to formulate their own conclusions and take action based on that."Khalid Fouad, starring in the movie opposite Haifa Hussain, said the movie would also include a number of songs that he would sing. These will be a mix between nationalistic and romantic ones, he said, as they were written in a way that could be interpreted as love shared between two people or love for the country keeping in line with the movie's theme.In 2007 al Hulaibi made his debut as a movie director with a controversial film titled Arba Banat ("Four Girls"), which addressed some of the issues facing Arab women as they challenged local customs and entered the workforce. The movie, which also starred Fouad, who was then little known, won second place at the Dubai International Film Festival.Haneen will be the eighth film to be produced in Bahrain, with some of its scenes shot in Cairo. email@example.com
- In pictures: Iran’s auto industry lives on
- US frees up some military aid to Egypt in sign of improving ties
- Iran’s love of cars survives devastating sanctions
- Hamas and Fatah announce Palestinian unity deal
- Qatar foreign minister says GCC spat only ‘differences in opinion’
- Israel aims to encourage Christian Arabs to join army
- Most Viewed
- Most Commented
- Most Viewed
- Most Commented
- History shines light on the true borders of Palestine
- American ‘has UAE Embassy documents’ to back up medicinal marijuana claim
- Nakheel to sell plots for hotels and resorts on Dubai’s Deira Islands
- UAE’s healthcare system must grant equitable access to all
- Abu Dhabi warned rising rents could drive low-paid workers out of UAE
These women know the real price of cheap high street fashion
Survivors of the world's worst garment factory accident, struggle to rebuild their lives from the rubble of the Rana Plaza collapse as Bangladesh prepares to mark the first anniversary of the disaster.
Iran’s love of cars survives devastating sanctions
Sanctions and energy subsidy reductions might have hurt the Iranian automotive industry. But car makers at one factory are still optimistic, Yeganeh Salehi reports from Tehran
In Iran’s most troubled province, Rouhani hears pleas for change
Hassan Rounani aims to connect with residents of far-flung Sistan and Baluchestan province.
Saudi Prince Bandar promised a victory he could not deliver
Saudi Arabia's controversial intelligence chief stepped down this week after rumours that his policies on Syria had fallen out of favour.
Best photography from around the world April 23
The NAtional View's photo editors pick the best of the day from around the world
Filipinos seek Middle East jobs to rebuild lives after Haiyan
Work in the GCC seen as only hope for thousands left homeless and jobless after devastating storm in November.