The Representation of Women in Saudi Film: The Case of Amra and the Second Marriage

  •  Merfat Mohammedsharef Alardawi    
  •  Faten Abdullah Saqah    
  •  Hanin Makki Zakari    


Female representation in film continues to be a new area of research in Gulf countries, particularly Saudi Arabia. Mahmoud Sabbagh, the writer and director of the Netflix film Amra and the Second Marriage, has portrayed Saudi women in various ways. His work was recognized with the Best Film award at the Cinematic Festival of Film Across Three Continents in Milan. The current study examines female stereotypes as portrayed in this film, employing a mixed-method approach of quantitative content analysis and qualitative thematic analysis. The study’s conceptual framework draws on representation theory and feminist theory to explore the depiction of female stereotypes in this digital Saudi film. A total of 20 females were recruited in this study from the online film. The findings revealed that Amra and the Second Marriage represented twenty Saudi female characters, with half of them being mature adults. Approximately 40% of these characters were portrayed as modern, and around 35% were depicted as belonging to the upper class. Less than half of the characters were shown without wearing the hijab. The film also depicted several stereotypes of Saudi women as weak and sacrificial, reinforcing negative stereotypes about Saudi culture as traditional and masculine. Furthermore, the movie showcased both ‘religious’ and ‘gossip’ stereotypes that mirror aspects of Saudi culture. Interestingly, the film also explored the theme of ‘corrupt women,’ a less common portrayal in Saudi culture.

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