The demise of theaters in Kuwait

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]

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7 comments, add your own...

  1. TJC Films says:

    It’s the same thing at the cinemas. Myself and another photographer friend talked to a person from the cinema about their censorship rules and the guy said they had 3 different people who did it and all 3 thought very differently about what is to be cut out and what shouldn’t. I remember the movie Predators which cut out every kill scene or dirty joke in the movie. It was a Damn mess. At least some of the other GCC cinemas have more set rules in play that people can use for uniformity in their editing. That is why many people now say I’ll wait for DVD, Netflix or just have their local bootlegger bring them pirate copies.

    • aaa says:

      Wolf of Wall Street had 40 minutes cut out GCC-Wide though. Really though I completely stopped going to cinemas a while ago because the censorship has gotten to the point where it ruins movies, KNCC is owned by very influential people so I’m surprised they’re rolling over and taking it.

  2. True Story says:

    I went to watch Princess and the Frog in the cinema here…the scene where the princess kisses the frog (the premise of the whole movie) was censored (we dont want our girls walking around kissing frogs…3aib)

  3. Stu says:

    After the Bye Bye Landan era (and prior), theatre in Kuwait has come a long way down.

    Same in Egypt for that matter.

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