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Popular Egyptian CinemaGender, Class, and Nation$
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Viola Shafik

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9789774160530

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774160530.001.0001

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Negotiating Class Through Genre

Negotiating Class Through Genre

(p.241) Chapter 5 Negotiating Class Through Genre
Popular Egyptian Cinema

Viola Shafik

American University in Cairo Press

Gaffney does not take into account ideological contradictions and negotiations within every single film text that prevents films from belonging exclusively to one “class” perspective or, to put it differently, he does not perceive the actual virulence of class difference in prerevolutionary cinema and the significance of the spectator's own class position to his reading of cinematic products. Realism and melodrama have been perceived increasingly as mutually exclusive by Egyptian and foreign leftist film critics—a move that runs parallel to developments in the West. Popular Egyptian film introduced a number of contradicting juxtapositions of vice and virtue with class. The “ethical” reservations put forward by the old elite against the rising businessmen are the same as those displayed in committed realist films.

Keywords:   Gaffney, class perspective, prerevolutionary cinema, realism, melodrama, ethical reservations

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