Films and Their Cultural Context

Cultural context plays a role in film-viewing. Two-thirds of people in MENA say they prefer to watch films that portray their own culture (65%), and a majority says films are an important source of information about their own culture (54%). The preference for films that portray local culture applies consistently throughout the MENA region, although it is much stronger in Saudi Arabia and much weaker in Tunisia. Tunisians seem much less sanguine toward films that portray Tunisian culture. Whether Tunisians feel films fail to show their culture accurately, or do not wish to see it accurately portrayed is moot; although the fact that fewer than half prefer to watch films that portray their own culture (46%), and only roughly a third of Tunisians find films an important source of information about one’s own culture (35%) suggests that both elements of doubt are in play. At the other end of the spectrum, those in Saudi Arabia desire a closer association of films with culture. Three-fourths of those in Saudi Arabia prefer to watch culturally relevant films and look to films as an important source of information about their culture.