Kuwait: Emirati street racing film banned without explanation

5 October 2016

Government authorities have banned Emirati street racing film ‘Hajwala’ and have given no reason for their decision, according to the film’s producer, reported Gulf News on 28 September 2016.

“We are very disappointed, especially because they [authorities] haven’t even explained to us why they have not allowed the film to release,” Dhabi Gulf Film producer Ali Al Marzouqi said. “This is a double standard since they allow similar Hollywood films to release without any problem, even if they don’t have any message. Our film has a very strong message”.

The film, shot and set in the world of underground car racing in the UAE,  is not just about the cars, but also about how the “dangerous lifestyle” affects the characters’ lives, friends and family, according to Ali Bin Matar, one of the film’s directors. Street racing, though mostly illegal throughout the Gulf states, is popular in the area.

According to Kuwaiti cultural site Cinescape, over 50 films have been banned by the country’s Ministry of Information Censor Board Committee, most of them Hollywood or Western films, including ‘Deadpool’, ‘Dirty Grandpa’, ‘How to be Single’, ‘Ice Age: Collision Course’, ‘Nerve’, ‘Sisters’, and ‘Zoolander 2’, as well as a handful of Indian, Filipino and Arab films.

Photo: Section of movie poster


» Kuwait Times – 29 September 2016:
Kuwait bans UAE street racing film

» Gulf News – 28 September 2016:
Emirati street-racing film ‘Hajwala’ banned in Kuwait

» Gulf News – 27 September 2016:
Emirati film ‘Hajwala’ looks at underground world of street racing

» Cinescape – 2016:
List of banned movies in 2016

More from Freemuse

» 24 February 2016: Five more countries ban ‘The Danish Girl’

» 25 June 2012: Poll: Six out of ten Arab citizens support government censorship of the arts

» 9 May 2012: Kuwait: “Inappropriate” art exhibition closed after three hours

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