Before the Storm. Independent Arab Film
Curator Arab Shorts: Marcel Schwierin, curator of the feature length film section: Independent Egyptian Film – Independent from What?: Irit Neidhardt, Arsenal Institut für Film und Videokunst / Germany 2011
The "Before the Storm" series focuses on independent cinema from Arab countries. Over six different evenings, the Goethe Institute will be presenting insights into the period before the "Arab Spring", showing both features and shorts about societies in the "waiting room of time".
Independent Egyptian Film – Independent from What?
Egypt is a regional power, taking a leading role in the Arab world both politically and with respect to the entertainment industry. In 1925, an important businessman had already opened the Egyptian Society for Acting and Cinemas as one of his bank's many investment sectors. This established two of the central elements of Egyptian film: its commercial character and its preeminence in the Arab region, much of which was still under colonial rule at the time. The mainstay of this Hollywood on the Nile, which was conceived as a deliberate imitation of its American counterpart, has always been the stars. They represent the risk capital of film, which is then paid back in full at the box office. This has given rise to mass-market compatible escapist works, which do not shy away from controversial issues, usually related to love, within the darkness of the cinema auditorium and in hermetically sealed cinematic textures. Continue