The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
Sisi: a film director without a script Open in fullscreen

Bilal Fadl

Sisi: a film director without a script

Sisi: it's all in his head [Anadolou]

Date of publication: 31 March, 2015

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
Comment: Egypt's president is stumbling through scenes without a plan, making them up as he goes along. That's bad for Egypt and those he claims to serve, says Bilal Fadl.

Let me tell you a story about the making of a film in Egypt: A sprawling, tub-thumping, patriotic opus about Egypt's glory days in war. Its name isn't important, but the way it was made is.

This epic was made two years ago and focused on the Egyptian army's acts of bravery in the wars with Israel. A friend of mine was pleased to be offered a big role.

When he asked for the script he was told there was a huge 400-page tome he could labour over but really - most of its content would probably change once filming began.

Undeterred, my friend took two days going over what he received - and to his surprise did not find a single line for his character.

When he met the director he was shocked by the first thing he told him. "Son you think your part is on paper? Your role is here," said the director, pointing at his head. "Not only your role. The whole film is in my head."

My friend was told to sign a contract there and then, without knowing what his role was. Not surpirsingly, he declined - wisely it appears, as it was a disaster on release. The disjointed script glossed over the bravery of the soldiers, the film was a mess, and colleagues who had taken part said he had made the right decision.

All the world's a stage

If films fail when they are just a concept in someone's head, without anyone having the right to read it or make suggestions, then what will the state be of countries when their future plans are in the head of the ruler?

If actors can ask the director what role they will be getting, and have the right to decline, then surely that should be the same for a country's people.

Why has the president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, not asked Egyptians their opinion on issues like the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam or taking part in the war in Yemen?

Egypt's biggest problem is not that Sisi did not ask Egyptians about his plans to solve Egypt's crises: rather it is the lack of plans in the first place because all evidence indicates that the country's fate has been left to the improvisation of one man, who thinks divine will has supported him since he was put on the throne of Egypt.

Therefore he makes extremely dangerous decisions rashly and frivolously because he is sure the people will not hold him accountable or scrutinise him and they will follow him clapping and cheering without asking him about the plan in his head.

May God be with us.

Opinions expressed in this article remain those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of al-Araby al-Jadeed, its editorial board or staff.

This is an edited translation of the original Arabic.

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More