Why we should go to the cinemas

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Al-Watan newspaper

WHILE the modern world has developed unique, quick and effective technologies for various purposes, many may wonder why one should go to the movie theater to watch a film that can be watched inside one's home without the trouble of getting out and bearing the hustle and bustle of ticket windows. What is the exceptional thing in these cinema halls that is not found inside our homes?

Is it the big screen, the advanced sound systems, or three- and four-dimensional technology? Perhaps all of the above, but there are dimensions that are psychological, visible and invisible. The psychological dimensions of watching a movie in a cinema are very different from those experienced by an individual watching the same movie sitting in front of a home screen or computer.

When you want to go and watch a movie at a cinema, it will most likely be a trip with a group of people who are close relatives or friends. During the screening, you will experience a vibrant environment and the interaction of the audience with different scenes, either mimicking the reactions or analyzing the elements of that particular scene.

It is inherent in every human being to belong to a group, and the individual gets the chance to have an integrated experience and a good and strong perception of the film when sitting in front of a wide screen with other viewers.

In addition, there is a an important aspect, which is to gauge and understand people's mood in different situations.

During my work at the American Islamic Congress covering human rights and political activity, I was repeatedly invited to critique premieres of Hollywood movies to gauge the views of different segments of people within specific areas regarding the appropriateness of certain scenes for public viewing because of sensitivities of a political or humanitarian nature.

I found that critics often called for deleting a particular part of a scene or dialogue depending on their culture and religion. The final version is presented to the world to watch. Any film contains a message that has been carefully prepared in advance.

What is the purpose of all these hullaballoo? The decision to reopen cinemas in the Kingdom will open up new avenues for Saudi filmmakers and help them compete on a global scale. It is not uncommon for our universities to have specializations in filmmaking and cinematography, as well as other forms of art such as theater, photography and so forth.

The Saudi film industry will go beyond the perimeter of showrooms to creating new stereotypes, replacing the old ones that others have made about us. People's opinions are refined through media and art, and that will eventually lead, God willing, to no more false impressions about us, such as living a desert lifestyle surrounded by oil wealth.

The Saudi Vision 2030 dazzles the world, changing its perspective about Saudi Arabia and its people. Let us reflect the reality of our wholesome culture to the world and, in the future, help our children rebuild our homeland to unprecedented heights.


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