King of the Sands


Prime Minister (20k+ posts)
Controversial anti-Saudi film debuts in London

Prominent members of London’s Arab community and other VIPs walk down the red carpet before attending one of the most controversial films of the year - the world premiere of a movie which has got the Saudi Arabian authorities hopping mad.


King of the Sands is a biopic of Abd al-Aziz ibn Abd al-Rahman Al Saud, also known as ‘Ibn Saud’, an emir of the central Arabian Al Saud clan and founder of the present-day kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
King of the Sands is presented as a 'landmark taboo-breaking film', depicting a 'dichotomous' story. It presents an impoverished prince in exile who reconquers his ancestral lands and continues to expand his dominion until he controls the better part of the Arabian Peninsula. This accomplishment demanded "single-minded ruthlessness". He exterminated the rivaling Emirs of Ha'il, the Al Rasheed. He later massacred his own shock troops, the Ikhwan (an irregular militia recruited from the main nomadic tribes), when they became a liability in the late 1920s and early 1930s. They had threatened the king’s relations with the British in Jordan and Iraq. This film also depicts Western imperialism as impinging on the monarch's independence, foreshadowing the kingdom's future entanglement in world affairs once the oil started to flow.

The film is controversial. The founder of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia draws criticism by the Saudi royal family and some of the family's allies in the western countries.

Najdat Anzour is the son of the Syrian pioneer of Arab cinema, Ismail Anzour. Although Najdat's reputation rest primarily on the production of epic TV series about important episodes in Islamic and Middle Eastern history, he is also known for controversial political topics. His latest, King of the Sands, falls into that category.

At a press conference, on 18 April 2012, the director reported that he has already received threats of lawsuits by unidentified parties trying to prevent the film's release.

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