Thursday, March 14, 2013

Video: Egypt Unexpectedly Bans "The Jews of Egypt"

["The Jews of Egypt"] presents a harmonious vision of early 20th century multicultural Egypt and asks – according to director Amir Ramses – "how did the Jews of Egypt turn in the eyes of Egyptians from partners in the same country to enemies?"
The Guardian

The Guardian reports that Egypt bans film about Jewish community:
Security agencies have banned an Egyptian film about the Arab nation's once-thriving Jewish community just a day before it was due to open in cinemas, according to the documentary's producer.

The Jews of Egypt examines the lives of the country's estimated 65,000 Jews prior to their departure in the late 1950s due to Egypt's conflict with Israel. Producer Haytham el-Khamissy said no reason had been given for the ban, which recalls the worst excesses of the famously censorial regime of former dictator Hosni Mubarak.

"There is no excuse for this except delay and obstruction," said El-Khamissy in a post on the film's Facebook page. "I announce the delay of the screening of Jews of Egypt until a solution is found for this inexplicable problem, inherited from long years in the parlours of the Egyptian state securities and which aim to terrorise thought and repress creativity."

"The Jews of Egypt" has already been screened at a private film festival in Egypt last year, and at festivals in the US, one further reason that the sudden ban was unexpected.

Maybe the makers of the film just had their hopes up too high:
Egypt had a famously intolerant attitude towards films about race and ethnic tension under Mubarak, but film-makers had hoped for a more liberal approach from Muslim Brotherhood-backed president Mohamed Morsi following his election in June 2012.
I suppose that in that regard we are all a bit wiser about the Muslim Brotherhood now.
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