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The Egyptian Cinema and the Social Classes Issue

Chapter/contribution (translation).

Viola Shafik , Vincent Battesti

Translation from English to French of:
 Viola Shafik, translation of Vincent Battesti (2011), Le cinéma égyptien et la question des classes sociales,
in Battesti Vincent & Ireton François (eds.), L’Égypte au présent, Inventaire d’une société avant révolution, Paris, Éditions Sindbad - Actes-Sud, coll. La Bibliothèque arabe, p. 995-1034 [ISBN 978-2-7427-9780-6].

 See this book L’Égypte au présent, Inventaire d’une société avant révolution.

This chapter provides an overall picture of the Egyptian cinema, by broaching it from the obvious but often ignored standpoint of social class, , a founding element in the Egyptian society. With the analysis of Egyptian popular fiction movies, since the thirties, and their positioning vis-à-vis the social question (does the cinema reflect the society?), this chapter will demonstrate how cinematic and societal issues intersect and are shaped by social change in Egypt. By examining the development of different genres — primarily melodramatic, realist and action films — this chapter sheds light on the reality of social classes and discourses as practiced in different periods Egypt (Nasser, infitah, Islamism and globalization).

Les larmes de l’amour, Togo Mizrahi (1935)
Le costaud, Salah Abou Seif (1957)
La prière du rossignol, Henri Barakat (1959)
Les vagabonds, Daoud Abd el-Sayed (1983)
Le tigre et la femme, Samir Saif (1987)
al-Limbi, Wa’il Ihsan (2002)
Ful al-Sin al-’azim, Cherif Arafa (2003)
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Viola Shafik , Vincent Battesti , "The Egyptian Cinema and the Social Classes Issue " (online), Anthropoasis |, page published 4 May 2011 (consulted 25 May 2024), available on: