Egypt revolution film at Cannes stirs anger at home

CANNES: A film about the Egyptian revolution to be shown at the Cannes festival has stirred anger at home for being partly filmed by directors perceived as having propped up Hosni Mubarak’s regime.

The film, “18 Days,” covers the bloody events that led to Mubarak’s fall in February after more than 30 years in power. It is to be shown by Pacha Pictures on a special festival day honoring Egypt on May 18.

Two of the 10 directors involved in the film’s compilation, Marwan Hamed and Sherif Arafa, are accused of having made adverts for Mubarak’s National Democratic Party, and an online petition is demanding they not go to Cannes.

Egypt’s ambassador to France, Nasser Kamel, has decided not to attend the event, citing other engagements, after he was accused of having backed a violent police crackdown on the popular revolt that began Jan. 25.

But at Cannes itself, Egyptian film star Khaled Abol Naga – who is a shareholder in Pacha Pictures and was also a demonstrator in Cairo’s protest epicenter of Tahrir Square – says the mood should be for reconciliation. Continue reading