Friday, June 3, 2011

CANNES 2011 - The tribute to the Egyptian revolution missed

This year, the 64th Festival de Cannes welcomes Egypt as guest of honor and salute and the overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak. This is the first initiative of its kind in the history of this prestigious competition, which ends Sunday, May 22 To pay tribute to the Egyptians, a film involving ten short films will be screened May 18 Title 18 Days, this collective work evokes the revolution from its infancy, January 25, 2011, until the departure of Mubarak, February 11.

The ten shorts are signed Yousry Nasrallah, Marwan Hamed, Sheriff Arafa, El-Sherif Bendary, Kamla Abu Zikry, Mariam Abou Ouf, Mohamed Ali, Ahmed Alaa, Ahmad Abdullah and Khaled Marei. Moreover, Sarkhet Namla (The Cry of an ant), a feature film (2011) Sameh Abdel Aziz will be screened outdoors at the Cinema de la Plage.

Bostagui and Al (The Postman, 1968), Hussein Kamal, is part of the Cannes Classics section. However, the presence of Sheriff Arafa and Marwan Hamed in a tribute to the 18-day period the Egyptian revolution caused indignation among Egyptians, especially in cinema circles. Indeed, as Hamed Arafa were active collaborators of the corrupt regime of Mubarak, make up videos of the campaign for the presidential campaign of rai in 2005, and for his training the National Democratic Party (NDP), today ' hui dissolved.

Some Egyptians living in France are also a dim view of participation, official dinner following the screening of 18 Days of the Egyptian ambassador in Paris, which opposed the demonstrations for democracy. A petition circulating online to demand that the revolution was not represented at Cannes by directors who worked with the ousted regime.

Some also show the finger at players like the star actress Youssra, who spoke by telephone to the television during the revolt anti-Mubarak to encourage the public to oppose the protesters. For now, the petition has gathered about 180 signatures, mainly from directors and other representatives from the arts.

The artists are wondering if the trip including the directors invited to Cannes is funded by the Egyptian Minister of Culture, but if the festival organizers were able to see the final film, which were still in production when the announcement of their programming Cannes has been decided.

For writer-director Mohamed Hassan, the filmmakers are harassed and injured deserve more than any other tribute. "The Ministry of Culture has not changed one iota," he adds. The same are still in office. It is as if the revolution had not occurred. " "I travel at my expense," says Sheriff El Bendary, one of the directors of 18 days.

"We are invited to Cannes." Responding to critics who complain that Cannes organizers have not seen the film, El-Bendary said that if they have not seen the entire film community, they have seen several stages of its production. And 18 days is not part of the official selection, but is subject to a special screening in parallel with the festival.

"Every festival needs arguments for bringing the world's media, and a revolution is an attraction and effective fashion," analyzes the film critic Sheriff Awad. The producer and director Hala Galal, proponent of reconciliation is not against the participation of those producers, but she was indignant to see them recognized for the Egyptian revolution and not for their artistic achievements.

For her, as for many Egyptians, Hamed Arafa or actress Youssra do not represent the revolution anti-Mubarak. "This is not a debate between filmmakers," she continues, "this is for all Egyptians." Hala Galal said he had no personal grievance against them and provide hope for reconciliation as long as they recognize their mistakes and apologize for their links with the propaganda apparatus of the former regime.

"To me, they [Arafa and Hamed] are among those artists who have switched their allegiance after the revolution, history of becoming anti-Mubarak and to continue to work in this new era," said Sheriff Awad. "I respect the other hand, these actors who, like Talaat Zakaria, only now returning on any of their statements before the revolution." El-Bendary, he defends 18 Days: "I disapprove of their participation in commercials for the Mubarak regime, but I do not mean they deserve to be put on a blacklist." In the aftermath of the revolution, he considers people to be more tolerant and forgiving.

"We all benefited in one way or another this regime, directly or indirectly." "Many also criticize us because we are making feature films about a revolution which, in reality, is still underway," continues El-Bendary. "I appreciate that, but my film has no message, no political propaganda.

All I did was take a snapshot of a human perspective." His short film, Curfew, integrated to 18 days, follows an old man and his little son was lost in the streets of Suez in trying to return home despite the curfew.

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