Chapter

Negotiating Class Through Genre

Viola Shafik

in Popular Egyptian Cinema

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9789774160530
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781617970108 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5743/cairo/9789774160530.003.0006
Negotiating Class Through Genre

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Gaffney does not take into account ideological contradictions and negotiations within every single film text that prevents films from belonging exclusively to one “class” perspective or, to put it differently, he does not perceive the actual virulence of class difference in prerevolutionary cinema and the significance of the spectator's own class position to his reading of cinematic products. Realism and melodrama have been perceived increasingly as mutually exclusive by Egyptian and foreign leftist film critics—a move that runs parallel to developments in the West. Popular Egyptian film introduced a number of contradicting juxtapositions of vice and virtue with class. The “ethical” reservations put forward by the old elite against the rising businessmen are the same as those displayed in committed realist films.

Keywords: Gaffney; class perspective; prerevolutionary cinema; realism; melodrama; ethical reservations

Chapter.  12687 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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