Egypt censors children's movies

Egyptian censorship is tackling a new wave of movies starring kids, saying that they exploit children for commercial ends.

    Youngsters movies are seen as commercial exploitation

    Four movies with child leads are currently being made in Cairo, and censorship director Madkur Thabit told AFP that his organisation had demanded that a large number of scenes in these movies should be cut, as they contradicted educational values. 

    "We have decided to adopt a firm position on these four films
    because we think they exploit children for commercial ends," said Thabit. 

    The censor cut those scenes in the films involving drug taking, employing improper language, and some showing violence, in which kids beat their teacher. 

    Thabit said that the scenes were censored in order to prevent "their negative influence on child audiences". 

    New phenomenon

    At the same time he decided to form a commission of 40 members comprising movie reviewers, teachers and intellectuals who would make the final decision on whether to authorise the movies, he said. 

    "We have decided to adopt a firm position on these four films
    because we think they exploit children for commercial ends"

    Madkur Thabit,
    censorship director

    The censor reserved the right to ban these films, "especially if their commercial ends prevail over educational considerations," he said. 

    The phenomenon of these movies starring children started with the recent huge commercial success, Thieves in the Kindergarten, in which a little girl, Huda Ammar, plays the lead. 

    This movie drew crowds of kids, which encouraged producers to make more like it, critic Tarik Shinnawi said. 

    Among the four new movies is Six Monkeys, by director Ahmad Awad, in which six working-class kids help get a man from their neighbourhood elected to parliament. 

    Spicy Baby directed by Adil Yihya, has a similar theme, set in the working-class neighbourhood of Bulaq in Cairo. 

    Farah, also by Yihya, is about an orphan adopted by a business man established abroad, whom the child convinces to return to Egypt.

    The last film, Terrific Baby, is the story of a school teacher
    who manages to change her students' attitudes and uncover drug dealers.

    SOURCE: AFP


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