Science Fiction Film & Television

Arab utopian futures

Documentary and sf film in the MENA after the Arab revolutions

Science Fiction Film & Television (2020), 13, (3), 387–404.


This article focuses on documentary and narrative films as modes of utopian expression in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) following the ‘Arab Spring’ of 2010-12. To talk about the Arab Spring in terms of utopia is to negotiate between the desires of people on the ground in the MENA for a better life now, the desire of Western governments for what the region should come to be, and the reality of the political situation in the MENA. This article examines the films that emerged from the MENA in the past decade to argue that the utopian impulse is crucial to the artistic output of the region and has responded through both narrative and documentary forms to craft complex responses to the successes and failures of revolutions local and national.

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Author details

Donica, Joseph