Egyptian film Muthakkarat Murahikah (Adolescent Memoirs) directed by Enas Al Degheidi has aroused a great deal of controversy among journalists and audience at the Cairo International Film Festival, according to Egyptian dailies.
Some considers the work “ a daring film that discusses the suffering of girls and Eastern societies,” while the majority believe that it “harms the Egyptian woman in general and at the same time insults the director, who is accused by many as becoming a specialist in making sex and delinquency films popular.”
The film, which was scripted by Abdel Hai Adib, is about an adolescent student named Jamila (Hind Sabri), who is a romantic girl coming from a middle class family with dreams of love. Jamila fantasises about herself as Cleopetra with her lover Antonio. She meets her lover accidentally and lives with him as if in a love story.
However, she becomes pregnant and faces many problems with her community, including rape.
Because it contains a huge amount of ideas related to women's issues which are in many ways unconnected to the life of adolescents, many critics blasted the film at a conference held immediately after the film's screening, according to AFP.
Film critic Hanan Shoman described the film as “a bad copy of the film Asrar Al Banat (Girls’ Secrets), because the director has chosen many women's issues without concentrating on specific points...many films can be built on each idea.”
For his part, Tareq Al Shinnawi said the film "looks for comic or sexual scenes to attract the audience, but even these scenes can't help an incoherent film.”
Meanwhile, Degheidi defended her film and said, “the Eastern girl lives under very difficult social circumstances and tries to be romantic, but she is blocked by her society.
“It's not true that I present a bad image of girls and that they sacrifice with their virginity easily. I have presented examples from society and wanted to show the schizophrenic state of Eastern society which says one thing and does something else, since most people hide their defects from others.”
“What the film’s star faces should be a good lesson to adolescent girls, since she receives the severest punishment possible, which is rape, because many [men] believe that they can do the same with her in view of her love affair,” added Degheidi.
“Therefore," Degheidi says, "the film does not incite corruption among girls - on the contrary, it serves as a message to every girl who wants to be free of social traditions and restrictions."
The film is the only Egyptian work now entered in the Cairo International Film Festival contest – Albawaba.com
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