Post by Mark
The Arab Times have an interesting Q&A with Kuwaiti film maker Shakir Abal on the demise of theaters (not cinema) in Kuwait. The most fascinating part for me had to do with censorship:
Q: So there is a very strict censorship in Kuwait?
A: When you read the censorship laws, it is not very strict. But the problem lies in the unpredictability which in turn is due to the fact that it is open to interpretation by whoever it is. So when you have invested say 50,000 KD in a play or 100,000 KD on a production, which needs to be done even before the first show is staged, you cannot afford for this one guy who comes from the censorship one day and tells you ‘Well this is wrong. You have to close the play down for whatever reason”.
Q: So you mean to say there are no clear cut ‘dos and don’ts’ as far as censorship is concerned?
A: The laws are not clear cut, and it is, unfortunately, being controlled by people who lack in knowledge. I am 56 years old. I do not like a 25 year old putting restriction on what I can see or cannot see. And that is what is happening. That is wrong. If a script is approved, it is approved. End of the story. If they cannot or do not know how to read the script, then it is not my fault.
Who would want to invest time and money in a show if it could get shutdown without warning by a censor? Obviously not a lot of people hence the demise. Check out the full interview on the Arab Times website [Here]