State and Cinema in Pre-Revolutionary Egypt, 1927–52

Andrew Flibbert

in Re-Envisioning Egypt 1919-1952

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print August 2005 | ISBN: 9789774249006
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781617971006 | DOI:
State and Cinema in Pre-Revolutionary Egypt, 1927–52

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This chapter illuminates the problematics of moviemaking beyond the Euro-American ambit using one of the largest personal collections of film-related source materials outside of Egypt. In particular, it focuses on the relationship between state authority and filmmaking, as well as the role of foreign residents in Egyptian cinema, in order to point to the sources of the industry's early success. Through this political economy of cinema, this chapter questions the conventional wisdom that the Egyptian monarchy was disinterested in film and revises contemporary historiography downplaying the significance of foreigners. Finally, this chapter explores the origins of the 1940s “crisis of the film industry” in Egypt, plotting out linkages among mass culture, economics, and politics in 1920s–40s Egypt through the prism of a heretofore underappreciated domain.

Keywords: moviemaking; Egyptian cinema; political economy; Egyptian monarchy; mass culture

Chapter.  8233 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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