Arabia 3D captures ‘wonder and breadth’ of Arabian culture

May 26, 2011 – 5:11 pm

The Hollywood Reporter has posted their review of MacGillivray Freeman Films’ Arabia 3D:

As movie sets go, you can’t beat the Arabian Peninsula. And Arabia 3D has this movie set all to itself. The film is not only in 3D and in Imax’s large screen format, but this evidently is the first major production filmed entirely in Saudi Arabia. (To answer that question which just arose in your mind, Lawrence of Arabia was shot mostly in Spain and Morocco but not one frame in Arabia itself.) No doubt tempering the joy veteran large-screen director Greg MacGillivray must have felt with a whole country and 2,000 years of Arabian civilization at his fingertips was the daunting challenge that he has to cover the subject in only 45 minutes.

It’s a struggle but MacGillivray, editor Stephen Judson and writer Jack Stephens at least manage to suggest the wonder and breadth of the human, physical and cultural experience that is Arabia. Plus there are certain sequences, most notably the Hajj, where three million Muslim pilgrims come annually to Mecca to reaffirm their faith, and a dive into the Red Sea to examine ancient shipwrecks, that only Imax 3D can capture so thrillingly.

This is a film consciously made without any political context. No doubt MacGillivray would argue that he means his film to be an antidote to the image of fanatical Arabs seen in popular American movies. But the absence of any political background to its portrayal of modern-day Saudi society gives a strikingly incomplete picture.

Read the full review here: Link >>

UPDATE: More news on Arabia 3D:

Hollywood Today: “Arabia 3D” IMAX Golden Age of the Arabic World