HESHAM ASHMAWY It was run twice. Egypt’s most sought-after man, a man who turned from an army officer to a jihadist, was hanged publicly in March 2020. Two months later, millions of Egyptians watched the actor perform “execution” on the terrorist television show “The Choice,” produced by the State Intelligence Service. To promote the episode, espionage agencies leaked a video of Mr. Ashmawi’s actual execution. “The Choice” (pictured) was one of the most watched shows during Ramadan, the high season of Egyptians last year. TV set..
Egyptian TV set The film industry has long been the envy of the Arab world. During the 20th century, movies were one of the largest exports in the country. From Rabat to Baghdad, Arabs have learned to imitate the unique dialect of Egypt through very popular musicals and comedies. This trade had a cultural impact on Egypt, and its rulers became a promotional tool. When the cinema took off in the 1930s, King Huad played a newsreel promoting himself before the feature. Next, President Gamal Abdel Nasser confirmed that the film portrayed the monarchy he had defeated as corrupt and evil.
But Abdelfatta Arsisi’s obsession with managing entertainment is extreme, even by Egyptian standards.Two years after he and other military officers defeated the country’s first democratically elected president in 2013, Sisi warned. TV set If their work does not reflect the state’s positive outlook, they will be “responsible”. The current president, Mr. Sisi, nationalized all media except his name and let his subordinates control which shows were aired. In 2016, a company owned by a state intelligence agency launched the purchase of Egypt’s largest private company. TV set channel. Since 2018, one of its subsidiaries, Synergy (the maker of “The Choice”), has produced most of the large shows that air during Ramadan. “It’s a monopoly,” says one filmmaker.
There was always censorship in Egypt. Still, under Hosni Mubarak, who was president from 1981 to 2011, they allowed the film to portray police atrocities, corruption, and even homosexuality. Producers say that important movies of that era will be blocked today. The once common sexual innuendo is forbidden. Extreme poverty may not be shown, as no one thinks Egypt is struggling. And security services must be portrayed as good people. The administration believes that an old movie showing dirty police officers protested police during the Arab Spring of 2011. It seems that the protests may have been inspired by real-life dirty police officers, which did not happen to Mr. Sisi’s minions. “The administration sees what happened 10 years ago as a cultural failure,” says Ezedin Fisher, a former Mubarak diplomat.
State-sponsored war movies and heroic police dramas are popular enough, but Egyptians TV set It’s not much more interesting than it was before the coup. And it faces intensifying competition. For years, Syrian and Turkish dramas aired via satellite fought with local soap for Egyptian eyes. Currently, we have new production sites in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Streaming platforms such as Netflix and Shahid (owned by Saudi Arabia) MBC Group) Offers more choices to viewers. One of the signs that Egypt’s soft power has declined is that Arab millennials are usually more difficult to understand the Egyptian dialect than their parents.
However, Mr. Sisi’s administration is focused on influencing the Egyptians. “The Choice” promotes suspicious claims about the Muslim Brotherhood, which was in power in front of Mr. Sisi. A synergistic “swarm” praises the Egyptian airstrikes that killed 40 jihadists and seven civilians (parts not mentioned). “They are using better talent, bigger budgets and bigger stars,” says the Cairo-based director. “So, even in advertising, the quality is clearly better.”
Season 2 of The Choice, airing this month, covers the rubber slaughter when hundreds of protesters from the Brotherhood were slaughtered by security forces (under Sisi’s command) in 2013. The event was held as “one of the world’s largest demonstrators killed in a single day in recent history.” The show was, of course, filmed from a heroic police perspective. ■■
This article was published in the printed version of the Middle East and Africa section under the heading “Please only good cop.”
How Egyptian entertainment changed under the military junta
Source link How Egyptian entertainment changed under the military junta