Groundbreaking Film Opens Dialogue about Combating Corruption in Yemen
Sana’a, Yemen – A film by acclaimed director Khadija al Salami tackles head-on the challenge of corruption in Yemen. The 43-minute documentary, titled “Destructive Beast” in English, captures the impact of the abuse of power, neglect, and bribery that continues to stifle economic growth in Yemen. The film not only illustrates how and where corruption occurs, but also puts forth concrete policy recommendations to address corruption, including legislative and regulatory reforms.
“Destructive Beast” has been shown on Yemeni television and is already being used as a training tool in government offices around the country. In an ongoing effort to support civil society efforts to combat corruption, CIPE will help local partners to use this film as a training tool to stimulate dialogue and raise awareness about the detrimental effects of corruption on the social and economic health of the country. The film will also be used to challenge the perception that corruption is an inevitable part of Yemeni daily life.
At the film’s premiere in Sana’a, Yemen, on June 17, 2010, Supreme National Authority to Combat Corruption Vice Chairwoman Dr. Bilqis Abu Osba emphasized that “corruption has become a threat to the political, social, and economic development process, which requires a genuine partnership between government, civil society organizations, and citizens to fight against it.”
Over 100 key decision-makers, political leaders, journalists, civil society leaders, and students attended the inaugural film screening. Democracy School Chairman Jamal al-Shami stated that “combating corruption must involve everyone and must target different segments of civil society to raise awareness about corruption and its impact on society as a whole.”
In September 2010, an English-language subtitled version of the film was screened in Washington, DC, at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP). Over 60 U.S. scholars attended the screening, which was followed by a discussion panel hosted by CIPE Regional Director Abdulwahab Alkebsi and CEIP Yemen Scholar Christopher Boucek.
The Yemeni government understands corruption can no longer be ignored and is willing to engage in developing strategies to fight it. The international community has an important role to play in pressing the Yemeni government for serious reform to increase accountability. Films like “Destructive Beast” help create an environment conducive to change.
Please e-mail Yemenfilm@cipe.org if you would like to view or download a copy of the film, available in Arabic with or without English subtitles.
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