Mixed industry reactions to Muslim Brotherhood's planned cinema production company

Sara Naamallah, Tuesday 31 May 2011

The Muslim Brotherhood's plan to establish a cinema production company has raised some issues and concerns, yet is welcomed by some producers

Hani Ramzi
A shot from Hani Girgis' film, Ahasis (feelings). An unlikely scene in a Muslim Brotherhood production

As the Muslim Brotherhood announce their plans to start a film production company, many in the industry are sceptical of the move.

One of the issues of concern is that the plan comes at a time when the country is moving towards the parliamentary elections.  Another fear is the conservative direction that might take place within the industry.

“Why did they decide to establish a production company now?” wonders producer Mohamed Hassan Ramzy. “This only shows that they have certain political aims and that they will use the cinema as a tool for spreading their ideology.”

He maintains that they have the right to start a production company but he is opposed to their political views, which he feels will be put forward in any films they make.

Ramzy recalled the films in the 1970s which were marketed in Saudi Arabia, where a woman couldn’t sit next to a man, and now he believes that the Muslim Brotherhood films won’t be any different.

Another film producer Mohamed El Adl has also voiced his misgivings, but still welcomes a joint artistic project with the Brotherhood, because as he says “what matters at the end of the day is the topic of the film”.

The director and producer Hany Gergers Fawzy agreed. “Working with the Muslim Brotherhood could be good for me,” he said “since I was often accused of putting pornographic material in my films, Ahasees (Feelings) and Bedoon Reqaba (Without Censorship).”

He also said that the industry would not take a more conservative direction because of one production company.

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