Films

Hajwalah

Rana Jarbou
2015 | 21 minutes | Saudi Arabia

A young man’s passion for the illegal practice of tafheet—joyriding—provides a novel perspective on the rapidly growing desert metropolis of Riyadh. Looking through the window of a car hot-rodding around the streets, the camera captures small interactions that gradually reveal the highly regulated social interactions and structural economic stratification of the Saudi capital. 

This screening is part of the Emerging Visual Anthropologists Showcase and will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers and Dr. Pegi Vail, Graduate Program in Culture and Media, NYU.

Co-presented by New York University Center for Media, Culture, and History

Thresholds, My Perspective

Why would a young woman prohibited from driving a car want to explore the world of a joyrider and give him a voice?  

I wanted to dismantle gendered, classist and state-sociological discourses that tend to obscure a bigger picture about spatial and economic repression in the Saudi kingdom. Driven by curiosity, I also wanted to challenge myself and get uncomfortable. Could I possibly tell a story about a joyrider, to whom my accessibility is very limited?

A central theme in my work has been the juxtaposition between the power of expression and the expression of power. I want this film to be a powerful expression in the face of that repression.

- Rana Jarbou | Director, Hajwalah