Thursday, May 27, 2010

In Deep Abu Dhabi Doo Doo

I could see this one coming a mile off, a tiny dot at the end of a vast desert vista, so why couldn't producers--the backlash against Sex in the City 2 for being insufficiently "sensitive" to Islamic mores (burkas, backwardness, sharia etc.)? Now cast members have been forced into damage control mode, and have ended up sounding both insincere and ridiculous. From the Hollywood Reporter:
...Despite the incongruous setting for the sequel, [Cynthia] Nixon said the movie highlights the common challenges of women from New York to Abu Dhabi, noting her character has difficulty getting promoted at her Manhattan law firm and Samantha finds a shared experience with menopause.
She said the film is not trying to say, "Women have all the freedoms in America and none of the freedoms in the Middle East, it is far more nuanced and complicated than that."

Other members of the cast hope the movie can be taken for the light-hearted entertainment it is intended to be.

"We are really talking about these girls from one culture inhabiting another culture for a period of time and the antics they get into," said Kim Cattrall, who plays Samantha. "But this a road movie, not a political thriller."

In the end, the movie hopes to celebrate women bonding whatever their culture. "Women would much rather be allies than adversaries," said Sarah Jessica Parker, who plays Carrie.
How true. And by that what she really means is that dhimmis would rather be allies than adveraries, and that since she and her castmates are more than willing to engage in the usual fluff, lies, evasions and sophistries of cultural relativism, she hopes this unpleasantness will go away before it affects the picture's bottom line: After all, it's not like they showed cartoons of Mohammed or anything.

Update: Writes Kurt Loder:

Since the position of women in traditional Islamic societies is famously, shall we say, constricted, there are issues to be dealt with here that are beyond the grasp of bubble-headed comedy. Miranda grows momentarily irate at the sight of so many Arab women wearing face-covering niqabs, but she can only respond with a very Western feminist gripe: "Some men really don't like strong women!" (As if she and they were victims of the same oppression.) We also briefly note that upon checking into the hotel, Charlotte drops her married name, Goldenblatt, in favor of her more goyish maiden name. This issue, too, is quickly shooed away.
Update: Debbie Schussel sees the film as "propaganda" for the Emirates and is outraged that it depicts Abu Dhabi as an oasis of sex 'n' sin when it's anything but: 
In fact, when the “Sex” hags began filming the half of their movie that is set in Abu Dhabi, UAE, their filming was shut down for being too lewd, and they had to fake Abu Dhabi elsewhere to finish the movie. And I just love how the movie shows star Sarah Jess-equine Parker finding her past love in the middle of the Arab Muslim desert. Because, hey, that always happens, right? Can’t find your long lost love from Jefferson High School . . . try looking in the Arab souk (market) on the streets of Abu Dhabi and the sands of its deserts. You can’t say “Jesus” or “Christ” or “G-d” in Abu Dhabi, but, hey, it’s a “liberal, Western playground” for these annoying aging sluts from HBO, right?
Also interesting is that, as you can see from the trailer, the movie promotes gay marriage. Hmmm . . . why didn’t they try shooting the gay marriage scene in Abu Dhabi, too? It’s a good thing they don’t know that Parker’s father was a Jew and that she doesn’t have an Israeli stamp in her passport, or filming there would never have begun in the first place. The whole movie is propaganda.
But what do you really think, Deb?

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