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Egyptian cinema in the face of terrorism and extremism

Egyptian cinema has been and still communicating with members of society by presenting thorny issues of interest to all groups. Filmmakers in Egypt were keen to address issues of terrorism and extremism in many films that included terrorist attacks, bombings, assassinations, and attempts to attract young people in various ways. Egyptian cinema became aware of the attempts of extremist groups to gain power, and the first embodiment of this ideology was in 1979, through a single scene in the movie “Alexandria Why” in which the character of Hassan Al-Banna appeared in a meeting with a group of officers who plan to overthrow the government. Drawing attention to the issue of the religious state and preachers who dream of a caliphate state.

However, for many years, cinema has preferred not to approach this thorny issue for fear of exaggerating it, considering terrorism as just an individual phenomenon, and over time this phenomenon has been portrayed superficially without addressing the details of terrorist groups or the ideas they embrace. Until terrorism began to increase in Egypt clearly, and the cinema entered the stage of deepening the presentation of extremist thought and its causes, and from that time until this day many films have appeared that dealt with terrorism in one way or another, criticizing this phenomenon and calling for combating it and confronting it. In this article, we review together with a group of cinematic works that presented the phenomenon of terrorism and extremist ideology from different angles.

Terrorism 1989

The film revolves around Ismat (Nadia Al-Jundi), head of the accidents department at Akhbar Al-Youm newspaper, who is covering the story of a terrorist attack targeting a minister. Omar Al-Sanadili (Farouq Al-Fishawi), who managed to deceive Esmat and convince her of his innocence, is accused of sympathizing with him and becoming attached to him, and she challenged everyone to publish a journalistic investigation in which she defended Omar.

Ismat is preparing to travel to Abu Dhabi to attend an international conference on crime, and Omar asks her to send a gift to a relative of his there, but she discovers that the box contains dynamite to blow up the plane on which a delegation of ministers is traveling to attend the conference. Ismat rushes to inform the police and cooperates with them to catch Omar and eliminate him.

Terrorism and Kebab 1992

The appearance of the terrorist in this film was purely a coincidence, as he is a victim of injustice and coercive circumstances that made him the position of holding hostages at gunpoint in exchange for the government’s implementation of his requests. The events of the film take place inside the Tahrir Complex, where Ahmed (Adel Imam) is going to transfer his two children from one school to another, and because of the administrative obstacles, he clashes with the security and seizes the weapon of a soldier, and shoots unintentionally, so the employees think that the terrorists have taken control of the complex. Ahmed finds himself involved in taking some hostages, and a group of citizens joins his aid. Soon the police surround the place, and negotiations begin with the Minister of Interior, who is determined to storm the building if the terrorists do not surrender and release the hostages.

Ahmed decides to leave the hostages, but they sympathize with him, especially after they realized that his demands for fair human treatment represent the same demands as theirs, and they refuse to go out without him so as not to be arrested, and they are determined to let him out among them as if he were one of the hostages so that the police forces stormed the compound and did not find any terrorists.

Terrorism 1994

The film discussed the story of a poor young man named Ali Abdel Zaher (Adel Imam), whose social circumstances prompted him to join a terrorist group. Ali participates in an assassination operation, and during his escape, he is hit by a car driven by Sawsan Abdel Moneim (Shireen), who takes him to her home until her father, Dr. Abdel Moneim Hassanein (Salah Zulfiqar) treats him. For fear of police intervention, the family preferred to treat him at home, and Ali agreed so that his case would not be exposed. Love grows between Sawsan and Ali, especially after her family treated him well, and during this, he discovers that he has been deceived by the terrorist group, which is killing him as a reward for his defection, especially after he tried to alert one of the characters that the group intends to assassinate.

Vultures of Darkness 1995

The film tells the story of three lawyers’ friends. The first is Fathi Nofal (Adel Imam), a committed person who turns into an opportunist who wants to reach the highest positions and uses his capabilities to become the office manager of one of the government ministers. The second is Ali Al-Zanati (Riyad Al-Khouli), who wants to achieve material gains, joins an extremist terrorist group, becomes entrusted with defending the group’s members and raising public opinion by filing cases against the state, in an attempt to control the reins of government, and he is also trying to recruit Fathi to join the group. The third, Mohsen (Ahmed Ratib), is a downed employee who decides to stay out of the conflict between the government and extremist groups.

Fathi hires Samira, the girl of the night (Yousra) to help him in his business, which he took as a cover for his suspicious actions, but she is arrested and confesses to Fathi, who is imprisoned under investigation, while Ali Al-Zanati participates in planning terrorist operations, so he is arrested and put in prison, and there the two friends meet The confrontation and conflict between them continues.

Destiny 1997

The film presented the phenomenon of extremism and terrorism in a historical context, as it dates back to the twelfth century AD in Andalusia, specifically during the rule of the Caliph Abu Jaafar Al-Mansour (Mahmoud Hamida), and tells the struggle of the philosopher Ibn Rushd (Nour Sharif) with the political authority of the Caliph, who was a friend of his Then he had feelings of hostility and extremist religious groups that succeeded in recruiting the youngest son of the Caliph (Hani Salama) among their ranks. This is the conflict that ended with Ibn Rushd being declared apostates and burning his books twice, the first at the hands of the terrorist group, and the second when the Caliph was angry with him and ordered his exile outside the country.

The other 1999

The film sheds light on the alliance between extremist groups and capitalist entities to serve their common interests, through the love story that brought together journalist Hanan (Hanan Turk) and Adam (Hani Salama), a young Egyptian who holds American citizenship and is conducting a study on the phenomenon of religious terrorism. The two lovers insist on marriage despite the refusal of Adam’s father, the Egyptian businessman Khalil Emara (Mahmoud Hamida), and his arrogant American mother, Margaret (Nabila Obeid), so the mother tries to distance her son from his wife in any way, even allying with Fathi (Ahmed Wafik), Hanan’s older brother, who is The prince of one of the terrorist groups and a fugitive from a death sentence in absentia, and bargaining with him to end the marriage in exchange for a visa to America, he kidnaps Hanan on the pretext of his objection to her marriage without his knowledge and asks Margaret to come with the visa to make sure that he gets rid of Hanan, but Margaret informs the police of his location, and at the same time he can Adam from hacking his mother’s computer and knows where Hanan is and rushes to save her, and the story ends with the killing of Fathi, Adam, and Hanan by extremists’ bullets, and the police forces that stormed the headquarters of the terrorist group.

State Security 1999

The film dealt with the terrorist’s personality differs from the usual in form and content. He is not religiously strict, but rather drinks alcohol, approaches women, and participates in terrorist operations because of his desire to collect money that he obtains from foreign countries. The events revolve around Samiha Abdel Muti Shaheen (Nadia Al-Jundi), the prisoner who was sentenced to death, and the sentence was carried out only ostensibly, as the Egyptian intelligence wanted to use it to arrest the terrorist Farid Al-Fayoumi (Ahmed Diab) because of the great similarity between her and his wife.

Samiha is trained and travels to Switzerland with Officer Kamal (Mahmoud Hamida), and they succeed in kidnapping Souad, the terrorist’s wife, and taking her back to Egypt. Al-Fayoumi before his trial, so Samiha continues her mission and travels to Paris to meet the rest of the organization’s members. She broke into the computer of the terrorist Abdelaziz (Khalil Morsi), the commander of the military wing, and was able to send important information to the Egyptian intelligence. Events develop with Souad escaping from prison and leaving Egypt, where Samiha is exposed and arrested by the organization’s members, so the Egyptian intelligence attacks the organization’s headquarters, to rescue her and take her back to Egypt.

Deer blood 2005

The film reviewed the phenomenon of poverty, which may result in falling into the clutches of terrorism in greed for power and money. The events of the film are inspired by a true story that took place in the Imbaba area of a poor young man named Reda Richa (Mahmoud Abdel-Mughni) who works as a drummer with a popular dancer, and he wrestles with the thugs of the region, Atef Al-Hajam. (Amr Waked) on the love of Hanan Al-Dahshoury (Mona Zaki).

Reda leaves the dance troupe and joins one of the extremist terrorist groups, which imposes its control over the region, and although he does not know anything about religion, they make him the emir of the region, and he decides to take revenge on his rival, Atef, because of an old dispute between them, so he establishes the limit of theft in the name of religion and cuts off his hand. The security services monitor Rida after his involvement in several terrorist crimes and seek the help of Hanan to trap him, and the events end with the death of Hanan during the exchange of fire between the security and the terrorist who manages to escape.

Yacoubian Building 2006

This film is one of the most controversial Egyptian films, as it tried to shed light on contemporary reality through a variety of stories that combined boldness and excitement, including the story of a simple young man named Taha El-Shazly (Mohamed Imam), the son of a real estate guard who seeks to enter the Police College, but is rejected because His father’s profession, so he joins extremist groups, and is arrested, where he is tortured and molested by a state security officer (Abbas Abu al-Hassan), and after his release from prison he turns into a terrorist and decides to take revenge on the officer with the help of the group members, and he succeeds in killing him, but the officer’s guard By killing Taha, the story ends with the corpse of the officer and the terrorist next to each other on the ground.

Maulana 2017

The film dealt with the phenomenon of attracting young people to belong to extremist groups and exploiting them in terrorist operations that the country is witnessing from time to time. Its events revolve around the character of Hatem El-Minshawi (Amr Saad), one of the new preachers who seek to present religion in a nice way away from intimidation and intimidation, and is subjected to attempts to control it by some groups that covet to exploit it to serve their interests.

Sheikh Hatem receives a call from a senior figure in the state asking for his help in responding to Hassan (Ahmed Magdy), his brother-in-law, who has decided to convert to Christianity and change his name to Peter, which poses a great danger to the entire family. Hatem takes on the task of bringing Hassan back to Islam and tries to get close to him by inviting him to his religious programs and sessions until a church explosion occurs. In the end, we discover that Hassan deluded everyone with the story of his conversion to Christianity so that he could easily enter the church to detonate it after he joined an organization and embraced extremist jihadist ideology.

Cell 2017

The film tells the story of three police officers working together in the special operations sector, who are friends on a personal level, the first of them is Major Seif (Ahmed Ezz), the second is Major Saber (Mohamed Mamdouh) and the last is Major Amr (Ahmed Safwat), who is martyred during the raid on the den of terrorist Marwan Adnan’s cell. (Samer Al-Masry), while Saif is severely injured. Saif decides to take revenge on his friend and insists on returning to work quickly before he fully recovers from his injury.

Saif begins to collect information about the terrorist Marwan until he finds the hiding place of his wife, who blew herself up for fear of arrest. Marwan decides to take revenge with major explosions in vital areas in Cairo, and kidnaps the child Ali, the son of the martyr Amr, and asks Seif to come to him in his official uniform and make him carry a bomb in a bag that he enters the subway without inspection. He also separated the train carriage in which the bomb was located, jumped out of it, and was seriously injured, but he managed to avenge his friend as he wished.

Arrest Letter 2017

This is the only movie that took place entirely within the corridors of an extremist organization, but it presented the character of the terrorist superficially, as he is a person who fights only for money and rejects his younger brother’s attempts to enter the same organization. The film presented the story of Khaled Al-Dajwi (Mohamed Ramadan), who grew up in a poor family, and his father worked as a servant for one of the elders of religious groups, who decides to include Khaled in the organization until he became an important member of the military wing of the extremist group.

As for his brother, Ahmed Al-Dajwi (Mohamed Adel), he is a very religious young man who is close to the terrorist group to fight for the sake of God, as he considers it a clear reality, unlike the thought of his brother, who considers his joining the group a mere trade. Indeed, Ahmed succeeds in joining the group, and one day, skirmishes occur between him and a member of the military wing and he is killed, so Khaled begins to avenge his brother and kills all members of the military wing. At the same time, the security forces were monitoring the group’s movements, specifically Khaled, for whom an arrest warrant was issued.

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