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Arab CinemaHistory and Cultural Identity$
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Viola Shafik

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9789774160653

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774160653.001.0001

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Cultural Identity and Genre

Cultural Identity and Genre

(p.121) 3 Cultural Identity and Genre
Arab Cinema

Viola Shafik

American University in Cairo Press

This chapter analyzes certain common genres and their relation to prevailing sociopolitical and cultural conditions in the Arab countries. From the conventions and subjects of the respective film genres, it is possible to gather information about the refusal or rehabilitation of indigenous culture, about myths and symbols contributing to the formation of identity, as well as about attitudes toward Western ideology and ideas such as socialism, materialism, laicism, and individualism. For this purpose some of the genres—precisely, literary adaptations, realist and historical films, and cinéma d'auteur—that seem to contribute notably to the construction, or deconstruction, of certain effective political discourses are examined. The close relation between literature and cinema is not an Arab peculiarity, but an international phenomenon.

Keywords:   genres, Arab countries, culture, myths, symbols, identity, Western ideology, socialism, literary adaptations, cinéma d'auteur

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