Capítulo II _ Cinema - Cinema

The Sheik (1921), de George Melford: Uma fantasia oriental e racialidade

Caio Chaves Faria
Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto, Brasil
N.º 14 (2023)
Publicado 2024-01-05


The Sheik (George Melford: 1921) presents the story of Diana Mayo (Agnes Ayres), a rich young English woman who refuses the idea of getting married because she plans to preserve her independence. She plans a trip to the Biskra desert, a fictional country located in the north of the African continent and being guided only by the natives of that place. At the casino, Diana is informed that only Arabs could participate in that night’s event, she feels offended and plans to enter the event anyway. It happens between Diana and Sheik Ahmed Ben Hassan (Rudolph Valentino) the first contact between them, but she did not imagine that he would be boycotting her trip to the desert to make her a prisoner. Diana presents a standard that is not considered feminine for Ahmed, since she wears clothes that are said to be masculine and believes in social equality between men and women. A sandstorm ensues on Diana’s excursion into the desert and eventually, she ends up being rescued and later taken prisoner by Ahmed, who swears that she will eventually fallhead over heels in love with him. The film works concisely with issues such as feminism, orientalism and raciality presented in an explicit way. The eroticism of the figure of the Sheik and issues of racial and erotic representation, combined with issues such as rape and consent navigate a worldwhere the negotiations of these values become complex and sometimes ambiguous.

Palavras-chave Film analyses, The Sheik, Orientalism, Raciality, Gender Studies.
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Este trabalho encontra-se publicado com a Licença Internacional Creative Commons Atribuição 4.0.

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