The Telegraph — Ms Mansour was nominated for a Bafta two years ago for Wadjda, described as Saudi Arabia’s first feature film, about a young girl’s dream of owning a bicycle.
The cabinet changes, including the replacement of the veteran oil minister, were revealed alongside a reform plan called Vision 2030 by Prince Mohammed, outlining proposals for the next 15 years of development. Among them was the setting up of an “entertainment authority”. The decree made no specific reference to cinemas and theatres, which are all currently banned, and government spokesmen said it was “too early” to discuss details.
But at the same time, the kingdom’s young people were complaining on social media about not being able to watch the latest superhero movie. “I can’t – I live in Saudi Arabia,” asked one young man on Twitter in reply to advertisements urging him to go and see “Captain America”.
Commentators and newspapers all agreed that the “entertainments authority” could have only one purpose – to regulate cinemas and act as a film censorship body..“We are still waiting for clarification,” Sultan al-Bazie, chairman of the Saudi Arabia Society for Culture and Arts, said. “But everybody is expecting it to happen, and soon. Everything is heading in this direction.”
Prince Mohammed, who is believed to be around 31, is the youngest Saudi royal in modern times to be part of its innermost ruling councils. He shares power with his 80-year-old father and his cousin, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, 56, who is in charge of internal security. But it is the younger man who is currently shaking up the kingdom’s cautious reputation. He has taken it to war in Yemen – without the approval of its old ally, the United States – and said he wants the economy to be less dependent on oil.
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