It was perhaps the most controversial film in the history
of public television -- the story of a young Saudi princess who was publicly executed for committing adultery. On the 25th anniversary of this May 1980 broadcast, FRONTLINE presents a new edition of this landmark film, a dramatized documentary based on the reporting of journalist Antony Thomas.
Note: This film cannot be video streamed because Internet rights are not available.
His memories of making the film, what he came to know about the young princess herself, and why her story deeply stirred people in the Arab world.
What has or hasn't changed concerning the lives of Saudi women? And what exactly was behind the protests and outrage in 1980?
An Arab journalist, a Saudi activist, an expert on Arab women's progress and a former U.S. ambassador.
Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers. Additional funding for Death of a Princess is provided by the Ford Foundation, the German Marshall Fund Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Twenty-five years after the initial broadcast of perhaps the most controversial program in the history of public television FRONTLINE re-issues "Death of a Princess." The 1980 docudrama recounting the public execution of a young Saudi Arabian princess and her lover for adultery triggered vehement protests from the Saudi government and an international uproar when it was first broadcast in the U.S. and Britain. The film which re-creates journalist Antony Thomas's journey through the Arab world to investigate the executions is a portrait of the constricted lives of Arab women and a Rashomon-like exploration of the elusiveness of journalistic truth. This special presentation will feature new interviews with the filmmakers an inside view of the controversies surrounding the film and an analysis of how the lives of Arab women have and have not changed.