Chapter

Cultural Identity and Genre

Viola Shafik

in Arab Cinema

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print April 2007 | ISBN: 9789774160653
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781936190096 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5743/cairo/9789774160653.003.0004
Cultural Identity and Genre

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This chapter analyzes certain common genres and their relation to prevailing sociopolitical and cultural conditions in the Arab countries. From the conventions and subjects of the respective film genres, it is possible to gather information about the refusal or rehabilitation of indigenous culture, about myths and symbols contributing to the formation of identity, as well as about attitudes toward Western ideology and ideas such as socialism, materialism, laicism, and individualism. For this purpose some of the genres—precisely, literary adaptations, realist and historical films, and cinéma d'auteur—that seem to contribute notably to the construction, or deconstruction, of certain effective political discourses are examined. The close relation between literature and cinema is not an Arab peculiarity, but an international phenomenon.

Keywords: genres; Arab countries; culture; myths; symbols; identity; Western ideology; socialism; literary adaptations; cinéma d'auteur

Chapter.  32279 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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