RSS file with home page updates in XML RSS Info divider Bookmark and Share divider email Join our email list! divider cartCart
Icarus Film
Films from independent
producers worldwide.
32 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201divider(718) 488 8900
Saudi Solutions
A Film by Bregtje van der Haak
 Text Size  Increase Font Size   Decrease Font Size   divider Printable VersionPrintable Version

film stillIn Saudi Arabia, one of the most religiously conservative societies in the Middle East, women are not allowed to vote or to drive a car. Men and women are segregated in most public spaces and work environments. A strict dress code enforced by religious police mandates that women cover their heads and bodies in public, where they must always be accompanied by a husband or other male guardian.

film still

In SAUDI SOLUTIONS, filmmaker Bregtje van der Haak, the first Western filmmaker ever granted permission to film the lives of Saudi women, takes us inside this closed society where fewer than five percent of women work. She profiles several women with professional careers—including a journalist, a doctor, a photographer, a television newsreader, a university professor, and the nation's first female airplane pilot-and asks them to explain what it means to be a modern woman in a fundamentalist Islamic society.

film still

In an interview with Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, owner of Kingdom Holding Company and fifth richest man in the world, SAUDI SOLUTIONS finds an isolated enclave of progressive attitudes toward women. In his office building and private palace, half of the employees are women, who are unveiled and dressed in the latest fashions, although "the ladies" work, he emphasizes, in an "Islamically correct" environment.

film still

In discussing their everyday lives and concerns, the women are surprisingly defensive of Saudi social customs, arguing that, while they see the desirability of gradual social reform, they see no conflict between Islamic law and the rights of women. They are especially resistant to Western pressures to abandon their value system for one imposed on them from outside.

In offering Western audiences a fascinating and often shocking look at the social status of women in Saudi Arabia, SAUDI SOLUTIONS also reveals that while Saudi society may be one in transition, involving a delicate balance between religious tradition and modernizing influences, the pace of change will be dictated by the Saudis themselves.

"Fascinating! Shows clearly the dance between religion and the hope of a secular existence."—Middle East Studies Association

"Succeeds in portraying the enormous struggle of women in Saudi Arabia, and in demonstrating how far they have to go to achieve a culturally acceptable form of equality."—Al Jadid: A Review & Record of Arab Culture and Arts

"Tackles a timely and complex topic which will undoubtedly foster rich discussions among students."—School Library Journal

"Elegant… teases the eye and mind with disturbing paradoxes… Highly recommended for public, religious, high school, and college libraries."—Counterpoise

2006 Middle East Studies Association FilmFest
World Television Award Nominee, 2006 BANFF
2006 Rotterdam International Film Festival
2006 Independent Film Festival in Paris
2006 Pärnu International Film Festival

77 minutes / Color
Release: 2006
Copyright: 2006

For colleges, universities, government agencies, hospitals and corporations

This DVD is sold with a license for institutional use and Public Performance rights.

Subject areas:
Business, Economic Sociology, Human Rights, Islam, Labor Studies, Middle East, Religion, Saudi Arabia, Women's Studies

Related Links:
Read a Saudi Gazette Article (PDF) about the Film

Related Titles:
Home | New | Titles | Subjects | PDFs | Ordering | Resources | Latest News | Site Map   
About | Closed Captioned | Best Sellers | Study Guides | Filmmakers | RSS | Screenings   
address
  Follow Us! On...
Facebook Follow Icarus Films on Twitter YouTube
Copyright (c) 2017, Icarus Films
Last Updated November 20, 2017 [Build 3.0.a019-c]
Privacy Policy