Exceptions to the Rule: The Mechanics of War and the Institution in Egyptian Cinema
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This chapter focuses on two moments of exception in Egyptian cinema—the first prompted by the 6th of October war and the second following the January 2011 uprising. I examine two sets of films that do not fit into the typical generic conventions of documentary films, specifically Khairy Beshara’s Tank Catcher, Shadi Abdel-Salam’s Armies of the Sun, and Samir Ouf’s Traveler to the North, Traveler to the South, which celebrate Egyptian soldiers and the October war and, almost 40 years later, a creative documentary by Marouan Omara and Johanna Domke entitled Crop. I argue that through their employment of sound, their disruption of the conventional voice over narrator, and the fetishization of technology and war machinery, these experimental films allow us to rethink the generic conventions that split documentary from fiction film at the same time that they also prompt us to review representations of the institution in other instances of Egyptian cinema.
KeywordsMilitary industry October war Propaganda/media/patriotism Signalling devices/radio jamming/sound Truth and fiction/documentary/experimental film Voice over
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