Egyptian artists condemn Cairo University ban on Oscar-winning film

Ahram Online, Wednesday 14 Mar 2012

The Front for Creativity condemns decision by Egypt's largest university to ban screening of Oscar-winning Iranian film 'A Separation' after pressure from Islamist students

A Separation
Iranian film "A Separation"

The Front for Creativity, a recently formed grassroots coalition of Egyptian artists who defend freedom of expression in the arts, has condemned Cairo University's decision to forbid a screening of the Oscar-winning Iranian film A Separation.

Islamist students forced the decision, claiming the film spreads Shiite and atheistic ideas.

"We find it useless and energy consuming talking about the role of cinema in enlightening the people," the front said in a statement.

"We learned loyalty to our homeland through film characters such as poor peasant Abu Sweilam whose fingernails grabbed the dry soil while being dragged by a policeman in the film Al-Ard (The Land) and we learned about justice from the trial scene in the film Al-Nasser Salah El-Din (Salahudin)."

The statement also added that films by late director Salah Abou Seif's had planted the seed of social justice in people's core.

"We think it is a catastrophe that a film that has garnered awards in many countries as well as an Oscar was not allowed to be screened in Egypt," the statement continued.

"They [the Islamist students] have to remember that their voices are now heard because of a revolution that calls for freedom, so it is a shame that they suppress this freedom," said the statement.

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