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Gay Film Sparks Outrage In Egypt

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starobserver.com.au

Conservative Egyptians are once again in an uproar over a critically acclaimed new film, by a Queer Egyptian filmmaker, which explores gay relationships and polyamory.Bashtaalak sa’at (Shall I Compare You to a Summer’s Day?), which premiered at the 72nd Berlin Film Festival this month, has been the target of angry critics who accuse the director, Mohammad Shawky Hassan, of “promoting homosexuality.”Omar Abdel Aziz, the head of the Federation of Art Syndicates, told Al-Watan that the film “highlights the worst of us.”The outrage over the film has led to one Egyptian lawyer, Ayman Mahfouz, demanding that Hassan be stripped of his Egyptian citizenship.The film, a German-Egyptian-Lebanese co-production, was nominated for the GWFF Award for Best First Feature, as well as a Teddy Award for Best Feature Film at the Berlinale.Hassan, who wrote and directed Bashtaalak sa’at, shot the film entirely in Berlin with a largely Egyptian cast, including Ahmed Awadalla, Nadim Bahsounn, Hassan Dib, Donia Massoud and Ahmed El Gendy.Bashtaalak sa’at (Shall I Compare You to a Summer’s Day?)Film critic Tarek El Shinnawi  in an interview with El-Kahera Wal Nas said, “Apart from the fact that some actors speak in the Egyptian dialect in the movie, the setting is unidentified,” and the film “neither positively or negatively tackles homosexuality.”While it is unlikely that the film will be screened in Egypt due to its sexual content and strong censorship in the country, Bashtaalak sa’at has yet to be formally banned by the Egyptian government.Bashtaalak sa’at (Shall I Compare You to a Summer’s Day?)According to the Arabic website Fil Fan, “The film will not be shown commercially in Egypt for several reasons, the first of which is the.

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