Hollywood on the Nile - Key Aspects in the History of Egyptian Cinema
Egyptian cinema is the largest film industry in the entire Arab world, and certainly the most influential in shaping culture in Egypt and in all Arab countries. Since its very beginning in the 1920's, Egyptian cinema has been a clear product of society and culture undergoing accelerated processes of change and modernization. As such, it combined aesthetics and technology from the West with local elements - Egyptian, Arab and Islamic, and served as a tool for the construction of modern Egyptian national culture and identity. The course will examine the way in which Egyptian cinema was affected by these processes, and the main themes that occupied, and still occupy, the Egyptian filmmakers. We shall inquire about the cultural and aesthetic "codes" that will help us to interpret Egyptian films, in connection both with the examination of historical events as well as with the cinematic strategies and conventions being used.