Films produced in Egypt in the period between 1992 and 2010—that is, in the period just before the revolution of January 25, 2011—construct an "imagined society" that contains within itself aspects of both unity and fragmentation. In these works of art, unity is generally expressed in terms of the nation and the family, as well as in terms of an assumed collaboration among different classes. Disunity is generally portrayed as a consequence of injustice against low-income groups and women. These films are representations in the service of ideological positions constituted within a discourse on the social good. The film producers are themselves members of an urban elite. They speak on behalf of the entire society but draw upon their own feelings; among these are feelings of anxiety, mistrust, and fear. These filmic representations need to be critically examined in the context of diverse lived experiences, and thus as enabling an uprising that was itself a result of many factors.


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pp. 377-396
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