Laila Elwi provokes Copts in Egypt
The Latest movie for Egyptian actress Laila Elwi and Mahmoud Hamida “[Baheb al-Sima” (I Love the Cinema) has provoked a wave of criticism before getting permission from the Egyptian Censorship Committee to be screened, due to the main fact that the movie revolves around an Egyptian Copt Family.
The Egyptian censorship 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 also asked the Coptic Church to watch the movie before releasing the movie commercially to give their final approval. According to the UAE based daily, Al Bayan, the scenario was approved by the censorship four years ago and the director chose his cast, Laila and Mahmoud Hamida for the leading parts.
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.
The surprise was that after overcoming all the previous problems and reserving the cinemas for the movie, the Egyptian censorship wanted to omit some scenes, which were faced with strong rejection by the director.
Mahmoud Hamida is playing the role of a strict Coptic father who does not let his family do any recreational activity because it is not religious. He prevents his son to go to the cinema and his wife feels so neglected and cheats on him with an artist.
The moral of the story is that being religious does not mean to oppress others. At the end of the movie we see the father rethink about his beliefs and decide to ease the pressure on his family and take his son and family to the cinema. Among the objections was a romantic scene in the church between the actress Muna Shalabi and her lover. Another scene was a fight in the church and some sarcastic words the son says about his father's religious behavior.
A twelve-member-committee was formed to evaluate the movie, it included many cultured people among them was the famous Coptic historian Dr. Yonan Labib Rizeq. The committee report said that the movie was one of the best movies presented in many years however they have several reservations on some scenes.
Dr. Yonan Labib commented that the movie was good but not including any Muslim character in the movie might suggest that Copts live in ghettoes in Egypt, which is not true at all. He added that the movie had some gestures that might provoke the Coptic society in Egypt. Osama Fawzi, the movie director, commented by saying that the movie does not talk about religion, but focuses on freedom stressing that Coptic Christians are an important part of the Egyptian society.
On a different note, Elwi denied circulating rumors that she has secretly married fashion designer Hani Al Buhairi, stressing that the news was simply a creation of some of the tabloids. The actress added that she does not understand why people keep making up lies that she marries secretly, assuring that if she was to get married she will announce the news publicly. –Albawaba.com
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)