Associated Press reports on the first Saudi-produced music video (YouTube link here). There are other clips of Saudi performers, of course, but they are mostly coming out of Lebanon and are recordings of concerts. What is of note is that the video is shot in Jeddah, with a full Saudi cast, and a Saudi director. This is truly new.
Much is made, of course, of the subject matter of this video: the wages of sin and the need to live a righteous life.
Saudi Arabia makes first music video
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – The Arab world’s hugely popular music video industry often features sexy performers in revealing clothes crooning about love.
But the first clip to be fully produced in Saudi Arabia has a message of a different kind: You can be cool and devout.
The video is unusual because it was made in a country where the religious establishment considers music un-Islamic and bans it in public places. And the main cast includes a Saudi woman, something rare in a work produced inside the kingdom.
But in a sign of Saudi impatience with the restrictions, “Malak Ghair Allah” or “You Only Have God to Count On” was a hit when it was launched at a popular mall in the western seaport of Jiddah last week. Hundreds of people showed up to watch it on a giant screen in the mall’s main hall.
“People didn’t stop clapping. Some had tears in their eyes,” Kaswara al-Khatib, the video’s director, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
The video is expected to air on most of the Middle East’s more than 30 music satellite TV channels this week. Despite fears among the Saudi clergy over the corrupting influence of music videos, the clip had implicit government approval. The credits thank “those who helped make this work a success,” including the Information Ministry.
“You Only Have God to Count On” uses upbeat music to tell the story of a successful man who had strayed from the path of true Islam. He smokes, flirts with women even though he’s engaged and doesn’t join his colleagues at work in performing the five daily Muslim prayers.