‘Madame Courage’ to participate in Cairo Film Festival despite controversy

Many films participating in the 37th session of Cairo International Film Festival have raised eyebrows during their premieres, most notably "Madame Courage".
Algeria's "Madame Courage", directed by Merzak Allouache, sparked political controversy when it participated in the Israeli International Film Festival, held in Haifa between September 26-October 5. The movie was produced by the Algerian Culture Ministry.
Many critics and filmmakers in Algeria called on the Algerian government to withdraw the movie from the Israeli Film Festival, similar to when Elias Salam's film "al-Wahrani" was withdrawn.
"Madame Courage" is a film condemning the Algerian community's double-standards. The hero of the movie, Omar, is a teenager living amid garbage in the suburb of Mostaganem city. The film follows Omar as he turns to thievery and becomes addicted to pills called "Madame Courage". The movie also features a woman in hijab who is engaged in prostitution.
Islamists in Algeria accused the movie makers of tarnishing the image of Algeria through screening the movie in the Israeli Film Festival and also called for its withdrawal.
The Cairo Film Festival has refused to exclude the movie despite the controversy.
Displaying the movie in the Cairo International Film Festival does not violate the festival's regulations, a management source said.
The Cairo International Film Festival is scheduled for November 11-20.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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