European Film Festival aims to build new cultural bridge

April 07, 2019

Abdulaziz Hammad

Saudi Gazette

As part of the 13th European Film Festival, the Italian Consulate General in Jeddah hosted an outdoor screening of a feature film at the stylish premises of the Italian Cultural Center.

The movie night was attended by Consul General Stefano Stucci, members of the Italian community in Jeddah, the consulate staff and Saudi movie lovers who came to experience true Italian cinematography.

The European Film Festival in Jeddah aims to build a bridge of culture between the EU and the Kingdom through the eyes of Europe’s cinematographers. By hosting a combined audience of Europeans and Saudis, the aim is also to increase the understanding of European languages. All films are screened in their original languages with English subtitles.

The festival, which will continue until April 15, is organized by European diplomatic missions in the Kingdom with the support of the delegation of the European Union in Saudi Arabia.

The festival also showcased the similarities between European and Arab heritage.

The first movie screened during the festival was “Young Goethe in Love”, a fictional depiction of the German poet Johann Von Goethe.

The German movie gave the audience a taste of the unbelievably deep romance between Goethe and his lover. The love story is comparable to the themes of many classic Arabian tales and novels, such as the unimaginably strong romance between Qays and Layla.

British poet Lord Byron called the Arab poem “The Romeo and Juliet of the East”, comparing it with William Shakespeare’s romantic drama “Romeo and Juliet”.

The film festival can be an excellent platform for promoting coexistence and tolerance between nations by showcasing similarities in art and literature, according to a participant.

The movie screened on the Italian night was “The Place”, a 2017 Italian feature film directed by Paolo Genovese, who also co-authored the script. The plot of the film centers on a seemingly random group of nine people who want to fulfill their greatest wishes, so they enter into a Faustian pact with a mysterious man who is able to give them what they want in exchange for fulfilling his own requests.

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