Abu Dhabi: A minority of the super-rich in the world is destroying the planet for their selfish ends, but the majority of the public are helpless and unable to stop this, according to a popular Egyptian actor.
But enhancing environmental awareness and empowering the masses can make a change in this regard and films can play a major role, Khalid Al Nabawy said.
It is a pity that a small group of super-rich is causing trouble for entire humanity by destroying the environment, he told Gulf News in an interview on the sidelines of the first Abu Dhabi International Environmental Film Festival.
Al Nabawy is a superstar in Arab cinema and has acted alongside Hollywood names such as Sean Penn, Naomi Watts and Orlando Bloom in worldwide blockbusters. Al Nabawy had a lead role in the Hollywood film “The Citizen”. He commendably performed the character Ebrahim Jarrah, a newly arrived immigrant from Lebanon who finds himself wrongly accused of being involved in the terrorist attacks in the US.
In the interview, Al Nabawy was referring to developed nations and the big corporates that contribute to global warming and climate change.
“The US, the most powerful nation on the earth, was averse to the Kyoto protocol [the treaty meant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions causing global warming and climate change],” the Egyptian superstar pointed out.
“We destroyed agriculture by using excessive chemicals and producing poisonous foods and we give such poison to our children!”
He said the entire humanity has turned inhuman by practising such destructive deeds to make money [influenced by the super-rich].
“We have to strengthen human values to save the earth,” Al Nabawy said.
He said films can play a major role in this regard. “Cinema is very important because it pierces the hearts and minds of people!”
He said films on environmental issues can influence the people easily and make positive changes in the society.
So the first Abu Dhabi International Environmental Film Festival (ADIEFF) is a big step in this direction, Al Nabawy said.
At the same time the popular actor is not carried away by his medium as he realises its limitations.
“I am not saying films will solve all issues or it will make immediate changes,” he said.
He cited An Inconvenient Truth, a 2006 documentary film directed by Davis Guggenheim about former US Vice-President Al Gore’s campaign to educate citizens about global warming.
“Despite Al Gore’s film, the US was not willing to sign the Kyoto protocol [despite the wide public attention it gained among the US audience],” Al Nabawy pointed out.
Before his lead role in “The Citizen”, EA Nabawy had acted in two Hollywood films, a smaller part in Ridley Scott’s 2005 epic “Kingdom of Heaven”. In 2010 he played an Iraqi scientist in “Fair Game”, a thriller based on former CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson’s memoir “Fair Game: My Life As A Spy, My Betrayal By The White House.”