Arabian Tales on Film

August 2010 @ V&A, London
Arabian Tales on FilmZenith teamed up with the Victoria & Albert Museum in London to present Arabian Tales on Film as part of the V&A’s Arabian Nights Family Festival in August 2010. The theme of 1001 Nights, with its charged Orientalist connotations, remains interesting to explore. With different authors and cultures contributing to the Tales over centuries, the numerous film and TV adaptations of it across the world from the time of silent films to now lead us to reflect on how one story can be told in so many ways and act as a link between eras and cultures. We selected for screening a 1975 Japanese Production of Sindibad (Sinbad), part of a classic 52 episodes TV adaptation of the 1001 Nights that brilliantly combines highly expressive and distinctive Japanese Manga animation with a very well adapted Arabic script that gives it the feel of a home grown Arabic production. At a different end of the creative spectrum, we showed The Adventures of Prince Achmed, a 1926 German adaptation of the tales. This silent movie uses beautiful shadow puppetry. It is the first full length animated film in the history of cinema and had recently been restored.

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