Special Screenings
Traveling Festival


Saudi Solutions
(77 minutes) Saudi Arabia/USA
Director: Bregtje van der Haak

In Saudi Arabia, one of the most religiously conservative societies in the Middle East, women are not allowed to vote or to drive a car. Men and women are segregated in most public spaces and work environments. A strict dress code enforced by religious police mandates that women cover their heads and bodies in public, where they must always be accompanied by a husband or other male guardian. In Saudi Solutions, filmmaker Bregtje van der Haak is the first Western filmmaker ever granted permission to film the lives of Saudi women. She profiles several women with professional careers--including a journalist, a doctor, a photographer, a television newsreader, a university professor and the nation's first female airplane pilot--and asks them to explain what it means to be a modern woman in a fundamentalist Islamic society. In offering Western audiences a fascinating and often shocking look at the social status of women in Saudi Arabia, Saudi Solutions also reveals that while Saudi society may be one in transition, involving a delicate balance between religious tradition and modernizing influences, the pace of change will be dictated by the Saudis themselves.

Bregtje van der Haak is a political scientist, journalist and documentary maker. Since 1994 she has been making programs for the public broadcasting network. She makes documentaries for Tegenlicht (Backlight), DNW-Rooksignalen uit De Nieuwe Wereld (Smoke Signals from the New World) and Laat op de avond na een korte wandeling (Late in the Evening After a Short Walk), among others. She graduated from the University of Amsterdam in political science and law and from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Her television career began on "The Charlie Rose Show" in New York. Since 1990 she has written about art, media and culture. In 2002 Bregtje van der Haak, in cooperation with architect Rem Koolhaas and The Harvard Project on the City, made Lagos/Koolhaas, a documentary on self-organization and urbanization in Nigeria.

Contact information:
Lori Fried
First Run/Icarus Films
32 Court Street, 21st Floor
Brooklyn, New York 11201
E-mail: lori@frif.com
©2007 United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF)
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BAM 6.6 Humanity Has No Borders
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The Devil Came on Horseback
The Digital Dump: Exporting Re-use and Abuse to Africa
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