Audiences and Class

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:
Audiences and Class

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Earliest cinema-going was at the outset a bourgeois habit in Egypt, as elsewhere in the Middle East and unlike Europe and the U.S. where the invention was soon proletarianized through lower-class distribution circuits such as the funfair and nickelodeon. This cinema seems to have appealed not only to the Middle Eastern elite but also to Egypt's urban petite bourgeoisie, which, although still socially and politically marginalized during the early decades of the twentieth century, was culturally rather active. Third-class cinema differs in program and equipment from first- and second-class cinema. It does not present any new releases, but offers a program that usually comprises one Egyptian and one or two foreign films. The expression of a sexual, religious, or ethnic Otherness still encounters taboos which indicate clearly that there is a weak point in the existing perception of the Egyptian nation and in the notion of sexual identity.

Keywords: class society; cinema; Egypt; foreign films; expressions; sexual identity

Chapter.  14504 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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