(RHET 400) Pitch

May 21, 2009

Recent controversial Egyptian films depicting Islamic terrorism have been exaggerating their prominence as a threat for cinematic effect, which in the end serves the government’s interests as it justifies its use of the Emergency Law. Interestingly enough, the very reason they’re cited as controversial is because they are often seen as a way to combat the government since the openness with which they criticize it resonates with masses and fosters a community of dissent. The existing discourse seems to pay no heed to the extent to which these films are feeding Egypt’s authoritarianism. This is especially relevant now because the increasing popularity of these films means that a previous niche in the industry is now rapidly becoming flooded with competitors. However, in order for the increasing multitude of filmmakers to maintain their popularity, their plots have to be more gripping. This almost inevitably leads to more cinematic exaggeration, which triggers the aforementioned cycle all over again.


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