‘Dégage—We’re Filming!’

Egyptian Cinema and the Arab Uprisings

in Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication
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The Egyptian film industry has gone through dramatic changes since the early 2000s. One tangible consequence of such changes was the production—whether intentional or not—of protest films that expressed opposition to prevailing viewpoints and sought to break the taboo on key sociopolitical issues. Not only do these films serve as historical documents reflecting the state of society, but they also proved to be efficient tools of soft influence and mobilization, and they contributed to the creation of a new dynamic that inspired people to take to the streets on 25 January 2011. Based on the analysis of a large sample of blockbuster films, this article sheds light on the roles played by Egyptian cinema between 2001 and 2011.

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In 1997, the cinema industry reached a historic low point in film production; it produced no more than seventeen films.

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