Despite the great success, Laila Elwi’s movie finds strong opposition
Coptic priests in Egypt attacked the movie “Ba7eb al-sima” (I Love the Cinema), which collected one million EGP in the first two weeks, starring prominent Egyptian actress Laila Elwi.
Aziz Morkos, a Coptic priest, is one of the most enthusiastic critics for the movie said that this movie is giving a wrong idea about Coptic Egyptians and pictures them as radicals.
"The husband in the movie is orthodox and if he was strict and radical he won't have married his protestant wife. The movie presents the wife [Laila] as a loose wife who comes from a bad family and her sister is a bad girl who in one of the scenes was looking from the window at a church while flirting with a guy looking from one of the church's windows. The movie also shows the wife raping her husband because he did not want to have sex with her while he is fasting. The movie shows that most people have no idea about the holy books," Morkos uttered.
According t the London based Elaph, Father Rafiq Jureish, head of the Media Orthodox Office, had also some criticism to address to the movie saying that when the father in the movie wanted to be open minded he bought a TV and had sex with his wife. Adding that he played with his children, which is not the real moral of the story. It was revealed that the film should have concentrated on his relationship with God and how he was a better Christian by being more open minded.
"The movie wanted to assert on the idea of freedom, well freedom is what it's all about but they should always remember that there is a slight difference between freedom and relinquishment." Father Jureish concluded.
The movie [Ba7eb al-sima] ,which thanked in its beginning all the members of the Egyptian church, tells the story of a Coptic Egyptian family who lives in the public area of [shubra] ,where most Christian Egyptians live, and the father is a very strict Coptic who do not watch TV because its against the religion. With time he finds out that his family does not listen to what he says so he starts drinking then he gets back to his mind and finds that being moderate and open minded is the right thing to do.
The movie shows in depth the Coptic way of living and their ethics and doctrine to the extent that it showed two Coptic fights taking place inside the Church. The movie also includes many seductive scenes for the two female stars Laila and Muna Shalabi.
The Egyptian censorship had insisted that several scenes must be omitted, but the movie director, Osama Fawzi, disapproved leading Dr. Madkour Thabet, head of the committee, to alter the whole dispute to the higher committee of the censorship to give final answer.
The Censorship had also asked the Coptic Church to watch the movie before releasing the movie commercially to give their final approval. The movie suffered many problems, like the low budget which was not enough and all the money was spent before completing the filming. There was no money left for the montage and printing of the movie so the producer, Arabian Production Company, added another 300 thousand EGP to prepare the movie for screening. –Albawaba.com
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)