FILM REVIEW – Dunya’s Day – A socialite’s nightmare is revealed in this dark comedy

As the sun rises on Dunyas Day, all hell breaks loose. The help have abandoned her elaborate graduation party and she and two loyal friends are forced, or rather forced by Dunya, to prepare for the celebrations alone. Director Raed Alsemari takes a lighthearted jab at the Saudi Arabian upper class with this dark comedy.

As the day spirals into a socialites nightmare Dunya’s deepest fears are revealed, that a less than extravagant party would see her loose her social ranking. Thus she spends the day strutting around the desolate venue in her custom gown, preparing food and even slaughtering lamb.

Alsemari’s cinematography has an almost Wes Anderson like quality to it. Positioning his subjects in wide landscapes with a static camera, highlighting the reality of the situation, and overt behavior from Dunya.

Without saying much, Alsemari says a lot. A testament to the subtext heavy script you quickly begin to understand why Dunya feels this immense pressure and perhaps towards the end of the short, pity her.

Dunya’s Day is an entertaining and enlightening look into the expectations of affluent Saudi Arabian culture.

 

Jessica Harman

 

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