Friday, January 4, 2008

Until Better Times

This is the best translation I could come up with for the title of an Egyptian movie currently playing in theaters (7een Maysara). Like Bamako, I did not watch the movie yet, but again I will not shy from writing about it. (this is turning into a habit)

I am writing this post to document my support for the movie & its director Khaled Yousef. The movie has come under attack from different individuals (even from the fellow Zamalkawi Amr Adeeb) for different reasons. I felt that I need to come to its defense because:
  • The movie follows the lives of the occupants of what is known in Egypt as "Random ٍSlums". I salute Khaled for choosing this subject. It's about time that the Egyptian Cinema discusses the problems of around 12 million Egyptians living in those slums.
  • The trailer which is shown over and over on TV clearly highlights the sensitive issues discussed in the movie. In the absence of a rating system in Egypt, everyone should be used by now to rate the movie from the trailer. No one can claim that they were surprised and offended by the issues discussed in the movie.
  • I agree with the calls to rate this movie as only suitable for viewers above the age of 16, but this is the responsibility of the censor and not Khaled. Also, parents should take responsibility and not allow their kids to watch the movie if they think that it is not suitable for them.
  • My husband, who actually watched the movie, told me that the sensitive issues discussed in the film were all depicted in a tactical and reserved way. (I am making an exception and am accepting my husband's evaluation of the movie even though I have earlier vowed never to trust his taste in movies because he loves the Limby movies)
  • The film was attacked by Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence, Abdel-Sabour Shaheen who admitted that he did not actually watch the movie. (I guess he just watched the trailer or heard about it from someone else. I know I just did the same here, but that does not mean that he has the right to do so). This guy's memory must be worse than mine. A couple of years back, he faced a law suit for what he wrote about Adam and man's evolution. Dr Shaheen defense was based on freedom of speech as long as the basic fundamentals of religions are not touched. I believe this applies to the movie.
  • Khaled Yousef was accused of being part of an American-Israeli conspiracy meant to ruin Egypt's reputation. I refuse all undocumented accusations. Besides, I tell whoever came up with this ridiculous accusation that it helps to know something about the people you attack before doing so. Khaled has been a leftist and an outspoken critic of Israel ever since he was born.
I guess this is more than enough. I wonder how long this post would have been, had I actually watched the movie??? I hope I am not disappointed when I do.

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