Dunya’s Day Review – Has privilege gone too far?

We have all had our diva moments, even when at home by oneself. I certainly have, that moment when your hair just won’t go right or you put on a few pounds and nothing seems to fit. However, some people take those moments a little too far and the title character in the live action short film Dunya’s Day has a complete meltdown when her housekeeping staff walk out on her birthday.

Writer/director Raed Alsemari brings out a brilliant performance by Sara Balghonaim (Dunya). We almost feel sorry for her as she rages through the day, whilst trying to keep herself together and persuades her friends to dress as maids to help whilst she sits and files her nails.

This film is very refreshing as it almost pokes fun at a society that has been born into money and after living a life of luxury, finds it impossible to manage without the help of maids and housekeepers. It does beg the question, has privilege gone too far? This also leads to social media, as many young people try to show they live extravagant lifestyles even if they don’t or can’t afford too. We live in a society where material things seem as too valuable and Dunya’s Day shows this clearly. To say so much in a short film and to provoke so many questions about society whilst making you laugh is down to the brilliant writing by Raed Alsemari.

The director filmmaker from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Dunya’s Day premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Jury Award for International Fiction. Before pursuing his MFA in Filmmaking at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Alsemari completed his BA in History and Literature at Harvard University with a focus on Postcolonial Studies.

The film has been selected for numerous film festivals including Palm Springs International ShortFest, San Francisco International Film Festival, Hollyshorts, Urbanworld Film Festival, and Sundance. It will screen at DC Shorts Film Festival and the Arab Film Festival (SF).

Dunya’s day is an important film that opens up questions on how we value material items whilst still managing to make us smile, quite a feat for a short film.

Margaret Brown









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