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The Arab National Project in Youssef Chahine's Cinema$
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Malek Khouri

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9789774163548

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774163548.001.0001

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Queer Transgression and Postcolonial Ambivalence

Queer Transgression and Postcolonial Ambivalence

(p.147) 8 Queer Transgression and Postcolonial Ambivalence
The Arab National Project in Youssef Chahine's Cinema

Malek Khouri

American University in Cairo Press

Scanning contemporary Arab cinema through the lens of queer studies reveals many films exploring issues of gender identity and sexual difference, and challenging patriarchal culture in the broader context of the struggle for national and social liberation. Chahine's stylistic outlook on his personal experiences, despairs, and anxieties, as well as his hopes and aspirations are reconciled within loosely connected cinematic episodes of fantasy and reality. But the creative, political, and personal struggles of the filmmaker are laid out in a manner unprecedented in world cinema, let alone in Arab cinema. However, Chahine's disclosure of the most intimate of his personal aspirations and anxieties (such as his bisexual fantasies and relations, and his apprehensions of aging) breaks major taboos in the history of self-reflexive cinema.

Keywords:   social liberation, gender identity, sexual difference, bisexual, self-reflexive cinema

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