HUMA01 (Spring 2013) Response Questions
The Power of Image: Viewing and Discussing the Documentary Film, “Reel Bad Arabs”
Watch this film as a group in tutorial. Make notes as you view it, and form small
discussion groups after the film is over. Come back together as a class for discussion and
exchange of ideas. Here are some questions to get you thinking. Please create formal
answers to at least three of these questions (and the associated sub- question, when
applicable), and include these responses in your journal.
1.Aladdin is an animated film aimed primarily at children. Do you agree that we should
take the images and representations of a film like this seriously? Why or why not?
No, it is because they show the stereotypical view that Arabs are villains. The films are
racists and do not describe every Arab.
2.Why do you think Hollywood inserts demeaning images of Arabs into films that have
nothing to do with the Middle East?
It is because not a lot is known about Arabian culture, and similar to WWII, anti-
sematic method, this is similar treatment toward Arabs. This is a hatred
movement, which discriminates the Arabs.
3.What images come to your mind when you think of Arab men, women, and children?
Are those images different after having seen this film? Why or why not?
They are different because images show that they are terrorist and angry people when
they are caring family members in our contemporary time.
4. How might Hollywood films influence public opinion on Israel and Palestine? D
Does the fact that these are fictional films designed as “entertainment” matter in terms of
Potential to influence real-world public opinion?
Entertainment shows Arabs as power hungry men who buy American land. The
producers show distaste toward Arabian and this influences audiences who view the
5. How do you think these films might shape perceptions of our society in the Arab
world, especially among young people?
The film might shape younger generations that take in information quickly from the
media through the television. This would cause negative aspects and judgment towards all Arabians as a result of bad media production.
6. Do you agree with Dr. Shaheen‟s contention that the Iraq war was made easier by a
century of demeaning stereotypes? Why or why not?
It does not make it easier. This is because of the „911‟ destruction of the American
building. This caused major hatred toward Arabians and the war between Afghanistan
and United States began. It lasted for a long period of years until the leader of the terrorist
group was killed in by the military.
What do you think Dr. Shaheen means by “easier”?
7. Do you believe that films have the power to reinforce or challenge stereotypes and
group animosities? Why or why not?
I do belie