- Title: FILM-EXODUS/EGYPT BAN Biblical film 'Exodus' offensive to Egypt: culture ministry
- Date: 31st December 2014
- Summary: CAIRO, EGYPT (DECEMBER 30, 2014) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF MINISTRY OF CULTURE MINISTRY OF CULTURE SPOKESMAN, MOHAMED AL-BAGHDADY, AT HIS DESK (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MINISTRY OF CULTURE SPOKESMAN, MOHAMED AL-BAGHDADY, SAYING: "Regarding the reasons for the ban; there are legal violations and technical violations that go back to the defamation of Egypt's history. The central administration (for censorship) formed a committee to watch the film and released a report that said the film included scenes and comments that have major intentional historical errors which are offensive to Egypt and its pharaohic history, and this is not the first time for this to happen."
- Embargoed: 15th January 2015 12:00
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVAB5ZROU84L6BNJFW5JH2Q5XTFZ
- Story Text: Egypt's culture ministry has explained the reasons behind its decision to ban Hollywood's big screen biblical epic "Exodus: Gods and Kings".
A 20th Century Fox spokesman announced the ban on Friday (December 26), but no reasons were given at the time.
Mohamed al-Baghdady, a spokesman for the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, said the film contained inaccuracies which were deemed offensive.
"There are legal violations and technical violations that go back to the defamation of Egypt's history. The central administration (for censorship) formed a committee to watch the film and released a report that said the film included scenes and comments that have major intentional historical errors which are offensive to Egypt and its pharaohic history," he said.
"Exodus", directed by Ridley Scott and starring Christian Bale, dramatises the Bible's Book of Exodus about Moses leading the Jews out of Egypt.
Baghdady said the film's portrayal of these events was incorrect.
"The first historical mistake (in the film) is that the Hebrews spent 400 years in Egypt which is not true. Also (the film says) they were suffering from slavery and forced to build the pyramids which led Moses, Peace be Upon Him, to form war militias to burn ships, crops, homes and land of the Egyptians," he said.
The banning of the film comes at the end of a year in which political freedoms have been curtailed in Egypt. Unlicensed protests have been outlawed and opposition voices have been silenced or sidelined. But Baghdady insisted this ban was not part of a wider clampdown on freedom.
"In our country we stand against all those that are trying to falsify pharaohic history or Egyptian history and glory, especially when there were major violations with the filming of this movie. We are not against freedom of creativity and we are with the release of any film except those that are offensive to us," he said.
The film, which has an estimated $140 million budget, has come under criticism elsewhere for casting mostly white actors in the lead roles and some historical anachronisms.
Morocco has also reportedly banned the film, which has so far grossed $107 million in two weeks in a world-wide release.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2015. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None