The Dog Days Aren’t Over

English subtitles can be viewed by clicking on the close caption ‘cc’ icon on the youtube player.


Rich oil fields, sultans and pilgrimages to Mecca likely the top three things that come to mind when thinking of Saudi Arabia. Then there was Bader AlHomoud,a young Saudi independent film maker. On September 13, 2011, he posted his self-financed and produced fictional docu-drama, Monopoly to Youtube. One week later it had more than 750,000 views, five months down the road, it has more than +1,707,000 views.

So, did this viral film refer to black gold and such? Not at all; the satirical short film just under 23 minutes, brings to light the current housing crisis in the Arab nation. Who knew that this rather wealthy nation, ranked #23 by the IMF for its GDP in 2011 is experiencing such a crisis. The situation most bleak for Saudi youth who in many cases do not earn the minimum USD $4,000/monthly salary required to buy property.
The film is spliced with rather serious excerpts from a Saudi economist, the only non-fictional character in the film who explains that real estate shortages have much to do with “white lands.” Property typically non-developed held by business speculators, that sit on these empty lands waiting for the highest bidder.
So we see the protagonist, Mohammad Al Qahtani the rather jolly young man despite his circumstances who is the first Saudi to own residential property in the millennium. However, the usage of the phrase ‘residential property’ is quite a stretch, or shall I say delusional. Watch to find out what makes this dark comedy so intriguing, and the paradoxical tension that director Alhomoud creates – he presents characters that riff between sincerity and delusion, perseverance and hopelessness. The short film clearly also makes note of how social media is once again playing havoc for the old guard in the Arab World, no longer can they control the opinions nor critiques of the rabble. Clearly, Youtube strikes again, unleashing the wrath of the public.


Directed by: Bader Al Homoud

Translated by: Camellia Al-Ibrahim

Joza AlDabaan

Khadejh Habib

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *