Nasrallah, On Boys, Girls and the Veil

by Walter Armbrust
published in MER200

Yousry Nasrallah’s new documentary film, On Boys, Girls and the Veil, touches on a paradoxical aspect of Egyptian filmmaking. Despite the ubiquitous hijab -- the neo-Islamic “veil” -- in Egyptian life, covered women are quite rare in the cinema. The reason for this is that both filmmakers and Islamists conflate the hijab with political discourse on the role of religion in politics and modern life in general. The topic of politicized religion -- or religion in any manifestation that intersects with modernity -- is not high on the agenda of the Egyptian film industry, and one therefore sees few covered women in Egyptian films.

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