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TCM plans Arabs-in-cinema programming

  |   May 24, 2011 at 3:16 AM
LOS ANGELES, May 24 (UPI) -- Turner Classic Movies says it is preparing to air a month-long movie event called "Race & Hollywood: Arab Images on Film."

TCM host Robert Osborne will be joined Tuesday and Thursday nights in July by author and Middle East media consultant Jack G. Shaheen to introduce a wide range of films and offer insight into Hollywood's changing attitude toward Arab people, the cable network said in a news release Monday.

Shaheen is the author of "Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People."

"TCM's 'Race & Hollywood: Arab Images on Film' is the sixth installment of TCM's far-reaching and culturally significant 'Race & Hollywood' project, an ongoing exploration of cinematic portrayals of different racial and cultural groups," TCM said. "Each Tuesday and Thursday evening in July will focus on a different topic, including early films, epic stories, depictions of Arab sheiks and Arab women, Arabs portrayed as villains or the subject of ridicule and movies that provide an even-handed look at Arab culture. The series will close on July 28, with a night of films made outside Hollywood."

Scheduled to be shown on the network as part of the programming slate are "Three Kings," "Jewel of the Nile," "Lion of the Desert," "The Black Tent," "Tarzan the Fearless," "The Sheik," "Lawrence of Arabia," "Caesar and Cleopatra," "Kismet," "The Thief of Bagdad" and several animated shorts featuring Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Popeye and other famous characters.

"TCM is committed not only to preserving and celebrating classic films but also to digging deeper into the events and attitudes that have shaped how Hollywood depicts the world around us," Osborne said in a statement. "With 'Race & Hollywood: Arab Images on Film,' we're setting out to track the history of Hollywood's relationship with Arabs in cinema and how it has evolved to where it is today. We hope this series provides a thought-provoking look at a very timely and important topic."

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