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Faisal, Legacy of a King (2011)

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In 1973 King Faisal of Saudi Arabia changed the world dramatically and permanently. 'Faisal, Legacy of a King', is the first full-length documentary film biography about one of the most ... See full summary »


Shems Friedlander


Haroon Sugich



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Credited cast:
Alexander Siddig ... (voice)


In 1973 King Faisal of Saudi Arabia changed the world dramatically and permanently. 'Faisal, Legacy of a King', is the first full-length documentary film biography about one of the most fascinating, influential and complex political figures of the 20th century. Interviews with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Saudi Oil Minister Ahmed Zaki Yamani, US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia James Akins, CIA agent Raymond Close are interviewed along with historians, scholars, family members and diplomats to relive an extraordinary period in Middle Eastern and world history and bring to life one of the greatest leaders of his time. Written by Anonymous

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Egypt | Saudi Arabia

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Glorification of a king ,and inaccurate. History of a nation
9 October 2012 | by AnafeinSee all my reviews

The documentary of the life of King Faisal directed by Shems Friedlander , major parts of it is  the combination of the achievements of King Abdul-Aziz, and King Saud ,both the first ,and second Kings of Saudi Arabia .the first unified the kingdom ,and the second , built it, during a period of thirty eight years( 1902-1964 ).during this period of time a nation was unified and  built by two Kings, whose history was forged by the  third King.the role of King Faisal at the early times was  decided by his father King Abdul-Aziz who  depended on his two eldest sons in the unification of the Kingdom: Turki ,and King Saud.they fought in most of the battles alongside their father at the age thirteen, the age which  King Abdul-Aziz has   chosen to  enroll  his children in his army .King Faisal was one of them as his third eldest son, and was not singled out or favored by his father for any special chivalry as portrayed.The makers of the documentary seemed not to be aware  that documenting history depends on documents  and not on personal narrations by family and friends. A rectification of Saudi history took place in 2006 in Riyadh under the auspices of prince Salman bin AbdulAziz the chairman of Darat AlMalik Abdulaziz,and  during the reign of King Abdullah . The reason behind this significant step by Saudi Government was to set history straight, and discontinue confusion of public  lasted for forty two years. confusion    was committed by King Faisal in favour of himself by attributing the achievements of his late brother King Saud to himself after dethroning him . This major correction  signaled a new  era for researchers in the Kingdom and  was asignificant  step in uncovering Saudi history and hidden documents  which were  a taboo for decades .As Saudis, we feel that this documentary is a setback to the image of King Faisal and a black spot in his history, and deserves to be cleared out and accepted by his family graciously.It is a shameful attempt to pursue this approach which causes more harm than good to his legacy.This documentary attempts to use the same old Egyptian propaganda in the glorification of an Arab leader based on false information, which King Faisal  suffered from himself during Abdul Nasser era who utilized this form of media to attack and defame King Faisal himself .Examples of these forged attributes to king Feisal s accomplishments in the film :King Faisal Saved his country from bankruptcy, institutionalized his country, initiated female education, eradication of slavery, built infrastructure, the first to call for Islamic solidarity.To refute these claims, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia faced economic crisis three times in its history ,the first after the second world war during King Abdul-Aziz time , where by king Saud as a Crown Prince , stepped in and brought foreign experts to save the situation ( American and British documents),known as "the Crown Prince Reforms" in 1949-1950 . the second ,during King Saud reign in 1958 ,was as result of the oil embargo which King Saud enforced against Britain and France due to their role in the triple attack on the Suez Canal because of the   nationalisation by  Abdul Nassir in 1956 ,and resulted in the loss of( 50 million )dollars from the blockage,and (300 million)dollars annually to the income of the Saudi state .plus the pressure exerted by Aramco on King Saud to alter his pro Nassir policy through lowering the price of oil. All this effected the economy of Saudi Arabia ,and King Faisal played a role as a Crown Prince and Premier to share in solving the crisis as King Saud did in his father s time as a Crown Prince. The third crisis was during King Fahd s era after the Gulf war .All the official documents in the archives of the Kingdom prove that King Saud built the infrastructure, schools, institutions, started official female education, eradicated slavery, called for the Islamic Conference which in 1954 created the Islamic league., the Islamic Solidarity Conference was called for by King Faisal was born from the womb of the Islamic League. We in Saudi Arabia are well aware of our history since its inception, and the role and achievements of each King, as information is available to us now after the removal of the embargo which encouraged researchers at universities   to uncover that period. Many recent books were published based on internal and foreign documents clarifying  the misconceptions .in this film we witness people still living in a big lie because they don't want to admit that times have evolved, and the truth has prevailed. Yes, King Faisal dethroned his brother king Saud with foreign help because his policies   were in support for Arab unity (British and American documents).yes, King Saud never abdicated in favor of his brother Faisal (no such documents available). Yes, King Faisal stole his brother s history, and related it to himself . Yes, King Faisal was killed by his nephew Prince Faisal Bin Mussaed as an act of vengeance for killing his brother Prince Khalid Bin Mussaed. Yes, it's bad for King Faisal s legacy to continue the lie because it reminds us as Saudis of the dark ages of our history where the lie was the predominant truth that we were brought up to believe in.

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