Blanton Museum of Art presents Wael Shawky: Cabaret Crusades III: The Secrets of Karbala
The Blanton will screen the third and final installment of Egyptian artist Wael Shawky’s widely-acclaimed series Cabaret Crusades, his epic exploration of the religious wars fought in the Medieval period. Cabaret Crusades III: The Secrets of Karbala (2014) is, like all three works in the trilogy, based on the 1983 book The Crusades through Arab Eyes by the French-Lebanese writer Amin Maalouf. Interested in history’s interpretation more than history itself, Shawky created a highly stylized visual language using marionette puppets of blown glass and a handmade, revolving set. Though the film’s source material was originally written in French, Shawky had excerpts translated into classical Arabic - a nod to the book’s title and concept - in order to create his script. The puppets speak in that language, with subtitles in English.