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Permissible documentaries: representation in Ateyyat El Abnoudy's documentaries

Permissible documentaries: representation in Ateyyat El Abnoudy's documentaries
Permissible documentaries: representation in Ateyyat El Abnoudy's documentaries
Cairo, or 'Hollywood on the Nile' is known for melodrama and musicals. During the Golden Age of 1950s Egyptian cinema, directors adhered to the censor's laws and to an escapist nationalist image of the country. Within this rigid context, Ateyyat El Abnoudy has been working against the grain as a documentary maker - subverting the censor's sensibilities. While a political and social engagement with her topics was established from the very first of her films, she was then still searching for the most effective style to do this in. In her earliest short documentaries Horse of Mud (1971), Sad Song of Touha (1972) and The Sandwich (1975), she experimented with the voice of her subjects and the function of the camera, while in her later and most famous film Days of Democracy (1996), the subaltern is more palpably present, both verbally and visibly. I argue that she recaptures the voice and returns the gaze to the censor, the Egyptian bourgeoisie, and the spectators of her films, while rewriting contemporary Egyptian national identity
1754-9221
109-124
Van De Peer, Stefanie
51d35528-b8de-4778-958d-c5935f2b5358
Van De Peer, Stefanie
51d35528-b8de-4778-958d-c5935f2b5358

Van De Peer, Stefanie (2011) Permissible documentaries: representation in Ateyyat El Abnoudy's documentaries. Journal of African Cinemas, 3 (1), 109-124. (doi:10.1386/jac.3.1.109_1).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Cairo, or 'Hollywood on the Nile' is known for melodrama and musicals. During the Golden Age of 1950s Egyptian cinema, directors adhered to the censor's laws and to an escapist nationalist image of the country. Within this rigid context, Ateyyat El Abnoudy has been working against the grain as a documentary maker - subverting the censor's sensibilities. While a political and social engagement with her topics was established from the very first of her films, she was then still searching for the most effective style to do this in. In her earliest short documentaries Horse of Mud (1971), Sad Song of Touha (1972) and The Sandwich (1975), she experimented with the voice of her subjects and the function of the camera, while in her later and most famous film Days of Democracy (1996), the subaltern is more palpably present, both verbally and visibly. I argue that she recaptures the voice and returns the gaze to the censor, the Egyptian bourgeoisie, and the spectators of her films, while rewriting contemporary Egyptian national identity

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More information

Published date: March 2011
Organisations: Winchester School of Art

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 337789
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/337789
ISSN: 1754-9221
PURE UUID: 0048742f-2363-491a-9f3c-d6527f26112d

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 04 May 2012 08:01
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 06:01

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