Any action film about the Egyptian Revolution is just a 'fraud', says filmmaker

Ahram Online and MENA, Thursday 20 Oct 2011

Medhat El-Sebai warns fellow filmmakers not to make films about the revolution until it is complete; claims Egyptian cinema facing funding crisis

In a conversation with MENA news agency, Egyptian filmmaker Medhat El-Sebai claims any production currently documenting the Egyptian Revolution is a fraud as the revolution is far from over.

El-Sebai says, "If I start on a film about the revolution at the present time, I would be a liar since the revolution is not over, given the numerous demonstrations and massive protests that take place everyday all over the country." He points out that the current political events could end in a catastrophe for Egypt after three years. "How can I document the ongoing events when I am unsure of the future?"

El-Sebai stressed the Egyptian Revolution should be carefully analysed, and called on filmmakers, artists and authors, not to seize the moment or "ride the wave" and become opportunists of all that is happening in Egypt. "Because of the large numbers of people claiming to have played major roles in the Egyptian Revolution, I feel proud not to have visited Tahrir Square during the massive protests that took place earlier this year, ending with the ousting of former president Mubarak."

Criticising the current trend in the cinema industry, El-Sebai claims most filmmakers today focus on presenting poverty and slum areas after being inspired by the revolution which he addressed over 25 years ago in one of his movies entitled Al-Fokaraa La Yadkholoun Al-Gana (The Poor do not Go to Heaven).

In response to a question on the censorship of some of his films by the former regime, he states that one of his films entitled Emra'a A'ila Lel Sokout (A Woman Doomed to Fall) was prohibited for a year from being screened on national television for carrying political messages. The feature film was produced in 1992, starring Farid Shawki and Huda Sultan, Abdul Aziz Makhion, Mahmoud Hamida, and Salah Kabil.

El-Sebai says contemporary Egyptian cinema is suffering since the Egyptian Revolution from a lack of funding, advertising, and distribution. "The revolution and its repercussions in society have affected the business... We are suffering from a real crisis," he says.

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