Young Egyptian actor Hannan Turk, and star of the new film “Dunia” (World), has been attacked by critics over the social content of the film that deals with female circumcision.
The actor claims the film is one of her best, and considers her role to be “the cry of every Egyptian girl and woman who suffered circumcision.”
The film is currently being screened at the Cairo Film Festival and stars Egyptian singer Mohammad Muneer, Ayda Ryad, and Sawsan Badr along with Hannan.
At a press conference after the film was screened at the Festival, Hannan stated that she made the film “for the sake of every female Egyptian.”
Journalists questioned the graphic content of the film such as nudity and poverty, and attacked director Joslyn Saab for making a film that concerns female circumcision, indicating that discussing the issue publicly is still taboo in Egyptian society.
Hannan defended Saab, arguing that overall the film presents a good image of Egypt.
Saab reminded the crowd that her film was voted one of the best films produced in 2004 out of over one thousand films that were evaluated. When the film was screened at the Montreal Film Festival, “Egyptians residing in Canada told her that it presents Egyptian life in a very distinct and true manner,” she added.
Saab also stated that female circumcision is a well known issue in Egypt and other African countries.
The film deals with a number of social issues, such as a woman’s body image, her sexual desires, and what she undergoes when she is secluded from society. The film promotes personal choice and freedom, and depicts the psychological and physical effects of circumcision, an issue that today still affects a large number of Egyptian women.