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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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Arab Cinema Today: A Postscript

Arab Cinema Today: A Postscript

(p.215) 5 Arab Cinema Today: A Postscript
Arab Cinema

Viola Shafik

American University in Cairo Press

The political and economic stagnation common to the largely autocratic Arab regimes has been affecting culture and film continuously. In addition, the introduction of new technologies and the profound change of the regional mediascape have left their mark on local production, especially by pushing young talents with innovative ideas and styles to the fore. There was also the sudden death of Algerian film critic Mouny Berrah, along with other tragic and absurd losses for Arab cinema, namely talented Lebanese director Maroun Baghdadi, who fell into an empty elevator shaft upon return to his homeland, and United States-based Syrian Mustafa al-Akkad, who became the accidental victim of an extremist suicide bombing in Amman. Some Arab filmmakers and authors are meanwhile voicing reservations concerning still-prevalent cinematic, modernist, and individualist elitism. The persistent schism between Arab auteurs and popular mainstream cinema cannot be neglected.

Keywords:   Arab regimes, culture, film, new technologies, mediascape, Mouny Berrah, Maroun Baghdadi, Arab auteurs, mainstream cinema

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