Now streaming on Netflix is an anthology of six short films by Saudi filmmakers, under the title Six Windows in the Desert. The films tackle issues confronting the country’s youth as their rulers find themselves at the intersection of tradition and progress. It's a fascinating look into a Saudi Arabia of the present standing on the edge, confronting its past and awaiting its future.
Included are Wasati (Moderate) by Ali Kalthami which is based on the true story of extremists attacking a theatre play in Riyadh 10 years ago; Predicament in Sight, directed by Fairs Godus is a science-fiction short set in the 1970s; Is Sumiyati Going to Hell? by Meshal al Jaser is told through the eyes of Layan, the youngest member of a local family that employs a foreign maid named Sumiyati; The Rat, written and directed by Faisal Al Amer follows Fahad, who spends the last day of his life with the fear of his father looming over his head; Curtain, directed by Mohamed Alsalman deals with a female nurse who faces fear and judgement at her workplace; and 27th of Shaban, from Mohamed Al Salman, follows Mohammed and Nouf as they go on a date in Saudi, which is an act prohibited in the country.
If we are to comprehend, fully, the world around us we can only turn to cinema to help us navigate it. Personally, films have shown me patience, understanding and have created a bridge that carries me across cultures. If I don't completely understand something, I turn to cinema to explain it in the deepest and most insightful way. Watch less news and more movies, I say.
Find the films here on Netflix.