Laila Elwi fights for the love of the cinema
The film “Bahib El Cima” (I Love the Cinema) that has caused endless commotion in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Egypt recently, was the main topic of a press conference held during the events of the First International Dubai Film Festival. The film was screened at the festival in the presence of its leading actress Egyptian Laila Elwi alone because the director Osama Fawzi could not make due to a sudden deterioration in his health condition.
According to the London based Elaph, Laila stressed that the film features people from different cultures and religious backgrounds, and does not offend anyone directly or indirectly. She added that it merely displays struggles different individuals encounter when faced with desires that lead them to committing different sins. She added that the film tackles the issue of power whether political or at home and how individuals deal with the different powers that are imposed on them.
Lawsuits have been filed against the film since it was screened during the summer season. The film had failed to achieve the desired profit levels due to the controversy it caused and criticism it attracted.
The most recent lawsuit has been filed by Coptic lawyer Nabil Gabriel Natheer, a founding member of Egypt’s Lawyers Association. Gabriel is demanding that the film be banned from screening at any film festivals as it deals with Christian issues that have not ben approved by the church. The lawyer is also demanding financial compensation of 10 million Egyptian pounds and an official apology from the makers of the film to the Egyptian Coptic Church.
Gabriel presented precedents from the Egyptian law that state offenders to any religions should be prosecuted.
Recently, the court of urgent matters in Abdeen, Cairo, had decided not to rule in the case against the makers of the movie, which was filed by 15 Coptic clergymen and 10 lawyers and advisors demanding the immediate banning of the movie.
The verdict stated that the court does not appose the case, but on the contrary, they feel with the Coptic clergymen and everyone who filed the lawsuit, however stressed that they cannot rule in the case because it is not within their legal jurisdiction. The judge stressed that the court of urgent matters does not normally accept cases that deal with such sensitive and divisive issues as the one presented before them.