Teaching Egypt Cinematically

  • Terri GinsbergEmail author
Part of the Global Cinema book series (GLOBALCINE)


This chapter analyzes two recent Egyptian films, the personal feminist documentary, Cairo Chronicles (Tania Kamal-Eldin, 2004), and Out on the Street [Barra fil Shara‘] (Jasmina Metwaly/Philip Rizk, 2015), an innovative instance of filmed theater of the oppressed produced in the wake of the Arab Uprisings. The aim of the paper is to reveal, through critique, the superficiality and in some instances irrelevance of these albeit very different films’ ideologically similar critical receptions: Cairo Chronicles has been misrecognized, for instance, as no more than a personal work of diasporic nostalgia; and Out on the Street has been misunderstood as a phenomenological engagement with the inaccessibility of facts. This paper seeks to transcend these limited, if not entirely unfavorable, understandings in the better interests of explaining the films’ profound pedagogical import as a core element of their respective aesthetic structuring and thus of the centrality of their political engagement.


Arab Uprisings Documentary Egyptian independent cinema Nostalgia Performativity Theater of the Oppressed 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of the ArtsThe American University in CairoCairoEgypt

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