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AP: Movie sparks controversy in Egypt

By Indiewire | Indiewire September 29, 2006 at 11:33AM

It's an odd choice for Egyptian popular entertainment: a bleak movie about corruption, torture and political stagnation in a country where cinematic happy endings are the norm. But audiences are packing the theaters. The crowds are going to see "The Yacoubian Building" both for the cast of all-star Egyptian actors and because the unusually in-your-face criticism of the government has struck a chord. In one scene, a police officer calmly tells a young man he's about to be tortured. Behind the officer, a portrait of President Hosni Mubarak hangs prominently on the police station wall -- an unsubtle hint at the blind eye that the government has often turned toward police abuses. Nadia Abou El-Magd reports.
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It's an odd choice for Egyptian popular entertainment: a bleak movie about corruption, torture and political stagnation in a country where cinematic happy endings are the norm. But audiences are packing the theaters. The crowds are going to see "The Yacoubian Building" both for the cast of all-star Egyptian actors and because the unusually in-your-face criticism of the government has struck a chord. In one scene, a police officer calmly tells a young man he's about to be tortured. Behind the officer, a portrait of President Hosni Mubarak hangs prominently on the police station wall -- an unsubtle hint at the blind eye that the government has often turned toward police abuses. Nadia Abou El-Magd reports.