By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act April 15, 2014 at 3:41PM
Now more of us have access to the documentary because ArtMattan Films, after acquiring the award-winning feature documentary and giving it a limited theatrical run earlier this year, has released the film on VOD via VOD partner, ReelHouse.
Egyptian filmmaker Amir Ramses' independently-produced feature documentary, Jews of Egypt, received some international attention weeks before its release in Eypt, when the head of the Egyptian censorship authority was said to have withheld permission for the documentary's national release, because "National Security was worried that its title could create tension in the streets."
The documentary film captures the lives of the Egyptian Jewish community in the first half of the twentieth century, through the present, in an attempt to understand how Egyptian society turned from a society full of tolerance and acceptance of one another, to one that that rejects others.
Director Ramses says he made the film because he grew tired of hearing modern-day Egyptians pejoratively associate the word "Jewish" with "Israeli" and "Zionist." In essence, his intent is to show a more tolerant Egyptian, which several Egyptian Jews made important artistic and political contributions to.
The film contains interviews with researchers and Egyptian Jews themselves, against the backdrop of how increased Egyptian-Israeli tensions led parts of Egyptian society to view Egyptian Jews as "enemies of the nation."
Egyptian journalist Naira Antoun called the film a "history lesson," while Egyptian film critic Joseph Fahim called it "the most accomplished, most important Egyptian non-fiction film of the past five years."
Nijla reviewed the film for S&A, calling it a documentary that is "important at a time when we are encouraged to adhere to binaries of gender, religion, and culture on a daily basis - to take an “either/or” stance on people and human rights issues. There’s always a gray area, or people, in between the rhetoric, and this documentary does a nice job of giving them a voice."
To take advantage of ArtMattan's VOD streaming offering for Jews of Egypt, click HERE to head over to VOD partner, ReelHouse. Cost: $9.95 for a 48-hour rental.
Check out the trailer for Jews Of Egypt below: