Despite receiving accolades for stunning cinematography and visual effects, Dune Part 2, director Denis Villeneuve's sequel to Dune : Part One, has come under fire by critics for its lack of diversity and stereotypical depiction of Middle Eastern culture, reported Variety.

The Dune films, based on Frank Herbert's 1965 sci-fi classic about false idols, imperialism and religion, take place on a distant planet, Arrakis, home to the Freman.

In the sequel, starring Timothee Chalmer, Rebecca Ferguson and Zendaya, Villeneuve explores Arrakis at a deeper level.

With the original novel heavily rooted in Middle Eastern and North African [MENA] and Islamic culture, the film has been called out for misrepresenting its source culture.

Stark lack of MENA talent : ''From the use of beads and prostration and in prayers by the Freemen to the almost-Arabic language, phrases pulled from religious texts and the wearing of veils........

It felt like Dune takes a heavy amount of inspiration from Islam, Middle Eastern and North African cultures yet simultaneously erases us from the screen,'' wrote Furvah Shah, a Muslim journalist, in a piece for Cosmopolitan UK as she expressed her frustration with the lack of onscreen MENA talent in major roles in the film.

In a similar vein, Variety reported that Amani AI Khatahtbeh, founder of MuslimGirl.com, pointed out the lack of representation of MENA actors across Hollywood in general.

'' One of the big things we hear when it comes to Middle Eastern people getting cast or brown people getting cast is there is not enough talent, yet there is no hesitation and no challenge for the industry to cast those actors from those backgrounds in the stereotypical roles of being terrorists or the villains.

Conveniently, we are at a surplus of Middle Eastern actors when it comes to negative portrayal,'' she noted.

Serena Rasoul, a casting director and founder of MA Casting, echoed similar sentiments and told Variety, '' This was a missed opportunity to honour the region's rich culture and heritage. Our stories are good enough, but our people are not.''

The Publishing continues into the future.

The World Students Society thanks author News Desk, The Express Tribune.


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