Culture Bites: Arab causes and art on international fronts

Honeymoonish was viewed 14 million times in its second week after release

In this week’s episode of Culture Bites, hosts Enas Refaei and Maan Jalal discuss Cate Blanchett’s custom Jean Paul Gaultier dress at this year's Cannes Film Festival, and whether it was a sign of solidarity with the Palestinian cause.

Maan then talks about the exhibition of Syrian artist Khalid Akil titled The Infinite & The Finite, on show at Ayyam Gallery in Alserkal Avenue until June 25. The exhibition is Akil's first foray into painting from the medium of photography, where he explored concepts of the infinite through large immersive paintings that experiment with colour, form and process.

Enas and Maan then discuss their thoughts on Netflix’s original film, Arabic romcom Honeymoonish, starring Egyptian actress Nour Al Ghandour, Kuwaiti actor Mahmoud Boushahri and directed by Lebanese filmmaker Elie El Samman.

Honeymoonish is the first non-English film to hit number one on the streaming platform’s weekly Top 10. It plays with modern western tropes of the romcom genre, while adding an Arab twist.

Finally, the hosts share their thoughts about part one of the latest season of Netflix’s Bridgerton. Maan is a big fan of the show, but he has some qualms about how far the series has deviated from the essence of the novels by Julia Quinn. The hosts discuss how Bridgerton has affected pop culture and reframed the notions of diversity and character representation on screen.

Listen to the full conversation on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and all major podcasting platforms, and watch the full episode on YouTube.

Updated: May 23, 2024, 7:49 AM