Film screening on Egyptian Jews stopped

March 13, 2013 at 6:35 AM
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CAIRO, March 13 (UPI) -- Egyptian security authorities postponed the screening of a documentary film about Egyptian Jews, filmmaker Amir Ramses said.

The film "Jews of Egypt," which portrays the stories of Egyptian Jews living in Egypt in the first half of the 20th century until they left the country in the 1950s, was to have made its debut in theaters Wednesday in Egypt, Ahram Online reported.

Ramses and film producer Haithan el-Khameesy said Egyptian National Security asked to view the documentary one more time, even though the country's censorship authorities cleared the film for screening.

"I therefore announced the delay of the film's screening until we can find a solution to this mysterious problem, which has existed for years within the framework of Egypt's security apparatus and which is meant to terrorize thought and oppress creativity," the Egyptian website reported Khameesy wrote on his Facebook page.

Ramses and Khameesy said they are holding all relevant parties accountable for the delay. Those groups include Egypt's Cultural Ministry, the Supreme Council for Culture and the General Censorship Authority as well as the Interior Ministry and National Security, the news website said.

The producer said he is considering taking legal action for alleged financial losses incurred due to the delay.

Abd el-Satar Fathi, director of the censorship committee, denied the claims, saying he has supported the film. He said Khameesy visited his office Monday to pick up the permit for a public screening just two days before the scheduled release of the film, and had prematurely booked movie theaters before receiving the permit.

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