Saturday, May 27, 2006

Ban Da Vinci Code!

Bahrain is supposed to be one of the most open-minded countries, yet it is one of the few contemplating banning the Da Vinci Code film.

In yesterday’s GDN there was an article ‘Ban Film call by Catholics’ saying that the Christian community in Bahrain is against the film and are trying to ban it. There is no final word yet from the authorities whether it will be banned or screened. Read what I had to say about the issue.

Now I’m not a Da Vinci Code fan. Not the read book, nor will I see the film anyways, but all this talk about banning and censorship is quite disturbing. As an artist, that’s the last thing I want to hear.

The irony in the situation is that the Da Vinci Code novel, and all of the dozen related books that came about it, are widely available in the local market here, in both Arabic and English. So why the fuss?

It seems that people separate the two (book from film) and I just can’t grasp that.


tooners said...

Honestly, I think it's ridiculous. As a former Catholic, I have to laugh and ask what in the hell are they SO FREAKIN afraid of??!!!! Gosh, that somebody may wonder about Jesus, ask questions, ask them - the all knowing - questions??

Me personally, I haven't read the book and prob won't see the film - ok, maybe on DVD - but, I do think that there is or could be a possibility that Jesus was married and even had a child. What's the big deal! He was human after all. But most Christians can't fathom this thought... Lord forbid Jesus have ***relations** with a woman! Pure sin to even think it! Probably have to go say 10 hail mary's... just for the thought!

and the Catholics here.... oh gosh... they all seem like converts to me! But I didn't say it! ;)

Ashish Gorde said...

I agree with you. The idea of banning anything is just not right. I am saying this as a Christian who does not agree with some of the main points of the Da Vinci Code but nevertheless I feel he has the right to say whatever he wants. Banning is a futile exercise and I hope the authorities don't do it.

MoClippa said...

I read the book, thought it was intruiging the first half, then realized it was shite... and don't want to see the movie either because I hear its even worse! ----

all considerations about the book aside... I think the reason why the reactions to the text and film are so different is probably not so much a consideration of the artistic medium, but rather because the community was late to catch wind of and react to the book locally. It was sold out in Bahrain for months and I don't remember it ever causing much of a stir. Hollywoods over marketing of the movie and pushing for controversial debates about its topics over the past few months, I think, has put the catholic community in a position to react. It's marketed as a challange to orthodox ideas, which causes the catholic community to act as a protecter of orthodox ideas, and all in one, you've got yourself a killer advertising campaign, full of free frontpage newspaper space!

Sad to say, in my opinion, the people in the Catholic community that are pushing the government for this ban are falling right into that marketing trap...

Ali Al Saeed said...

Mo I agree with that point. A lot of things (done in the name of art) are made intintially to provoke reaction from specific groups. Remember the Danish cartoons anyone?! We saw what happened with that.

Banning something will only make it more popular and in demand. And I think Hollywood (and the author) have kept that in mind all along.

I say if it is offensive to you, well... look away!

Ali Al Saeed said...

Tooners, I'm not a catholic or christian, but I know that anyone who touches the very foundations of a religion or prophet, is asking for trouble!

It's a very thin and risky line.

tooners said...

there've been rumors about this for a long time... there are many Priests who believe it could be a possibility.

i just think to make this a big deal, like they are doing, brings a lot of attention to it. i was teasing earlier, but i do think "so what"... why make this such a big deal.

when ppl get sooo touchy about a topic, i think it makes a lot out there question. it does me at least. and so they should. :)