The chief Egyptian censor, Madkour Thabet, denounced the turmoil sparked by the director of the film Shabab A’la al Hawa (Youth on the Air), Adel Awad in protest for the omission by the censors of the film’s scenes that convict Israel.
“Only one scene that does not last more than eight seconds was omitted from the film. The scene which has no value from the artistic point of view and no impacts on the current circumstances depicts a meeting inside the Israeli embassy where the Israeli flag appears,” the London based Arabic daily al Sharq al Awsat cited Thabet as saying at a meeting he held at his office recently.
The film depicts the story of a killer who takes refuge at the Israeli embassy to be moved out of the country secretly later. Thabet opposed the message of the film indicating that the flight of a killer with the aid of Israel while the Egyptian police, security forces and national powers watch the process has only one meaning. It means that Egypt is a very vulnerable country which is untrue, Thabet added.
“I agree with the film’s producer Sami al Adel and its director Adel Awad in keeping the scene about the flight of the killer on condition that a note to be put indicating that he was apprehended later,” said Thabet.
He denied that he had omitted other scenes from the film and said, “I do not accept anybody to through doubts about my patriotism. I attribute the campaign launched against me by Awad to the failure of the film and the slip in the demand for it which has spurred him to make this big fuss in the local papers to attract the audience to see it.”
“I gave the green light for screening the film Ashab Walla Business (Friends or Business) which is more powerful from the drama and artistic point of view and conveys a more blasting message against Israel. How could I reject a film that convicts Israel for its brutal crimes which it commits daily in the Palestinian lands?” added Thabet.
Sami al Adel was cited by the local papers as denying any disputes with the censors because of the film. He said “ the Censorship Department was responsive and the only problem was the objection by Thabet of identifying a certain country and his demand for omitting its name from the film which we agreed to.”
The film which the Egyptian theaters are currently screening is directed by Adel Awad, scripted by Mahmoud and Ibrahim Hamed and costarring Hanan Tork, Amir Shahin, Ahmed al Fishawi, Mohammed Mahmoud Abdul Aziz and Nelly Karam – Albawaba.com