The relationship of the Saudis with cinema goes back many decades, as the first Saudi film witnessed the treatment of some of the prevailing ideas in society regarding health safety. This was achieved nearly seventy years ago, when Hassan Al-Ghanim cut the opening tape as the first Saudi film actor, in the movie “The Flies,” which Produced by Aramco.
To this, the son of the late actor, director Maher Al-Ghanim, told Al-Arabiya.net that his father attended Al-Jableh Primary School in Dhahran, where he studied Arabic and English, where the latter helped him later play his role in the film, and at that school stage he was able to deliver a speech In both languages, in front of King Abdulaziz, who rewarded the child’s ingenuity with 500 riyals at the time.
A scene from Hassan Al-Ghanim
The first batch of scholarship
He added: “My father went to the city of Aleppo in the first batch of Aramco scholarships, as well as Beirut, which gave him a sufficient perception of cinema, and after these cumulative stages, an American film crew, specifically from Hollywood, was present on Saudi soil to produce a film about the health risks and the necessary medical awareness, as a result. Diseases spread rapidly, as they ended the lives of many people, and this responsibility intersected with the concerns of my father, who had 13 brothers who died due to diseases, to hold a doctorate in preventive medicine and become the head of health education at Aramco.”
The story of choosing the hero of the movie
The film crew continued to search for who would play the role, who was easy to communicate with and characterized by general knowledge, until the choice was made on Hassan after he presented his abilities. , not exceeding thirty minutes.
Some scenes of the film were repeatedly filmed, according to what the son of the late actor said, due to the comments and laughter of the spectators behind the scenes of the film, who were not accustomed to watching cameras and their accessories, and this astonishment continued in a different way after an official called out to the people that the film would be shown in the square, and the men gather Women of all ages can watch it, and as soon as the film ends, the voices calling for the replay of the game are raised.
Raising health awareness
The film was translated into eight languages, and began to move around Saudi Arabia, to contribute to raising health awareness and avoiding infectious diseases. Maher stressed that the film was not without drama, as it is the first decodrama industry in the Gulf. Aramco gifted the film to Hassan, who is now kept by his family. According to his son, the Association for Culture and Arts in the Eastern Province requested that the film be shown in full. On the other hand, a museum is expected to display excerpts from the film in the future, as it chronicles that period socially in terms of awareness and living.