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The January Revolution … is present in the memory and absent from the screen

In the eighties of the last century, Egyptian drama began to take a value-based approach, its content is based on the rejection of injustice, and cinema picked up the thread to express in the nineties the popular anger towards injustice.

Accordingly, art contributed to the emergence of a generation that would, after years, revolt to topple the head of oppressive power, but this generation will not find art that represents its dream fulfilled on the screen, and if it finds it, it will be scarce, forbidden, or inappropriate for its dream.

Ten years after the January 25 revolution, 2011, the artistic screen appears devoid of the revolutionary current that was previously led by the drama of the writer Osama Anwar Okasha, and the cinematographer of the writer Wahid Hamed, and the attack on the spirit of change became the feature of the presented works.

Rather, the event of the revolution itself became a burden on the art makers in Egypt. They avoid it as much as possible in order to avoid prevention or loss, or from the conviction that what happened in January is an act worthy of mention, while there remained a few expressive attempts, most of which were produced in the year or two following the revolution.

Cinema of the revolution

Despite the circle of blackout that lies within, “18 Days” remains the most prominent artwork of the January Revolution, which was represented, written and directed by a large number of Egyptian artists, and was filmed in the immediate aftermath of the revolution.

The film attempted to present the causes of the revolution and its events through 10 different stories, all of which shared in the documentation of January 25, and despite the technical weakness of the work that mainly resulted from the speed in making a work that copes with the protest action, it found its place in the presentation through international festivals.

The film was shown only once in Egypt in 2013, during the Ismailia Film Festival for Documentary Films, and all attempts by the three producing companies to work to obtain a permit for it to be shown in public have failed.

Although the censorship authorities denied that the film was banned under the justification that it was not presented to them in the first place in order to either authorize or reject it, some of the work makers emphasized otherwise, such as director Yusri Nasrallah, who stated that the film is prohibited by the censorship authority on artistic works.

As for the movie “After the Battle,” which was produced in 2012, it focused on one of the stations of the days of the revolution, on the second of February 2011, which is famous for the “Battle of the Camels,” when the protesters in Tahrir Square were attacked by men on camels and horses in an attempt to disperse the sit-in.

The film won a special prize from the Mons International Film Festival in Belgium, and participated in the “Cannes” Film Festival in 2012, and it was not banned from showing in cinemas in Egypt, as was the case with the film “18 Days”, but it was not until a few weeks before it was lifted from the cinemas, It was not shown on Egyptian television.

The two films were followed by attempts to monitor the revolutionary event produced in 2012 and 2013, such as “Good Luck” starring Ahmed Eid, “Al-Shita Al-Ely Fat” starring Amr Waked, “Farsh and Cover” starring Yassin, and “Before Spring” starring Hanan Mutawa, and ” After the flood, “by Ahmed Azmy, all of which were not welcomed on the screen.

The year 2015 was the last year of the January revolution artistically, so the movie “Nawara” was produced, starring Mena Shalaby and directed by Hala Khalil.

This film is considered the most artistic work that expresses the fate of the revolution, as well as its technical distinction that qualified it to win 8 awards from local and international festivals.

Drama

“Adam”, “Underground”, “Escape” and “Citizen X”; 4 series produced in the year of the revolution and the following two years, and focused on addressing the issue of torture practiced by the security services against citizens as one of the reasons for the explosion of popular anger on January 25.

Other works also dealt with the events of the revolution from different angles, such as “Duran Shubra,” “Khatam Suleiman,” “Al-Araf,” “Third Party,” “Ibn al-Nizam,” and “Bab al-Khalq”.

In 2014, the discussion of the January revolution disappeared on the screen, and the official dealings with the series “People of Alexandria” was a message to all the makers of drama and cinema It means closing eyes on the technical outlook for January 25th.

The “People of Alexandria” show, written by the anti-authority writer Bilal Fadl, was banned, and a number of artists who share the author’s same political opinion, such as Amr Waked, Basma and Hisham Abdullah, participated in the show.

It is noteworthy that Media Production City (a governmental institution) produced the series with a budget of more than 20 million pounds, but it retracted its show despite its promotional advertisement.

Usama Heikal, the current Minister of Information and Chairman of the Media Production Board at the time, stated that the general framework of the series harms the national security of the country, which he considered totally unacceptable, adding that the author was inspired by the work events to serve the Muslim Brotherhood at the expense of the Egyptian state.

In contrast, over the past seven years, the regime has adopted, through its media arms, a number of artistic works that place the Egyptian policeman in the framework of heroism and glorification, such as the series “Kalbash” and “The Black Horse”, as well as the army men as the first sacrifices for The country is in complete disregard for the revolution, which is sometimes mentioned by the heroes of these acts as anarchy that the security services have succeeded in preventing.




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