The Growing Demand For Egyptian Movies and TV Shows – Here’s What to Watch
Egypt is a country that almost everyone has heard of. While they may not always be able to pinpoint its location on a map, most people can tell you roughly what area the country resides.
This fame comes from the fact that Egypt was once home to one of the most influential civilisations in human history.
The nation gave us so many important inventions, including writing, ink, calendars, surgical instruments, and even makeup. Though these contributions are often overlooked as people typically picture the famous pyramids and sphinxes.
This fascination with Ancient Egyptian symbols and constructions has found its way into popular culture. In movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and Cleopatra (1963), we see the stereotypical imagery of Egypt thousands of years ago.
It’s not just movies either, the love affair with Egyptian imagery has also made it into games. In fact, in online casinos, it is one of the most popular themes with popular slot games like Book of Dead, featuring Rich Wilde, the Indiana Jones of slot machines, pyramids, sphinxes and other items associated with the region and time period.
But while our love affair with everything Ancient Egyptian remains strong, there is a growing demand for modern Egyptian culture. As part of this, the country’s movie industry is booming with new hits being released every month.
While it doesn’t carry the same cachet as Hollywood or other movie-making powerhouses like Bollywood and their actors, the Egyptian movie scene is enjoying growing popularity.
Here are some of the country’s greatest movies that you definitely need to watch.
Released in 1972 but set in 1967, Al-Asfour is a film about a young police officer named Salah Kabil who lives and works in a small village in the north of the country. It depicts the problems that many Egyptians endured at the time, with the corruption of business people and public officials leading to social and economic problems. Kabil tries to investigate this corruption while also searching for his father.
His brother is a journalist working closely with the military and is trying to use his position to make positive changes for his country but also finds himself up against corruption wherever he turns.
A plot along these lines is always at a risk of becoming nationalist or even a piece of propaganda, but its creator, Youssef Chahine, manages to overcome this by creating a multi-dimensional piece that has captivating sub-plot after captivating sub-plot.
A more recent production, Feathers (2021) is an Egyptian comedy that tells the story of a man who is accidentally turned into a chicken during a magic act at a birthday party.
The man is a traditional authoritarian Egyptian father who takes control of his household. But when he takes on a more avian form, his dependents have to undergo a journey of self-discovery as they’re tasked with controlling their own lives for the first time.
One critic described Feathers as being a film that captures several “elements from deep within the Egyptian condition”. It also manages to capture what life is like in parts of the country that are far away from the tourist areas and is something that many Egyptians can at least recognise, even if their lives are different.
Molasses (2010), which translates directly to “Black Honey” though some prefer the translation “Bittersweet”, is an Egyptian movie that explores what life is like in the country and the contradictions that come from being a young person growing up in a country with strong traditions but a lot of outside influence from other countries.
With a combination of drama and comedy, its a journey of self-discovery for both the lead character and the viewers themselves as they seek to understand their own identities and lifestyles.
It does this by following Masry, a 30-year-old Egyptian who has lived outside of the country for 20 years. He returns to his native lands after the death of his father and tries to get in touch with his roots but finds himself challenged by the daily life in the country.