JAMIE FOXX film THE KINGDOM has become the year’s biggest movie in the Middle
East, where the action thriller is set.
Director Peter Berg took a huge risk and filmed much of the espionage movie
in the United Arab Emirates, becoming the first western filmmaker to shoot
extensively in the area.
And his decision has paid off – much of the film’s success has come from the
Middle East market.
Berg says, “It’s the number one film in every country in the Middle East
except Kuwait, who banned the movie.
“I don’t know who banned it, who their Minister of Cultural Affairs is or
whether it was one of their princes or a sheikh there but somebody took offence
“But, hey, we just got word it’s the number one film in Saudi Arabia, where
they don’t have movie theatres, just DVDs.”
And the director is convinced the film has been so well received in the
Middle East – because it doesn’t vilify Arabs, like other Hollywood movies.
He adds, “I think that anytime you make a film that deals with the Muslim
religion, the sentiments are high in the Middle East. It’s the most balanced
film because it has Arab characters trying to fight terrorism.”