In 1957 the public sector in Egyptian cinema was established, followed shortly by the emergence of public-sector film production in 1960, only to end eleven years later, in 1971. Assailed with negativity since its demise, if not earlier, this state adventure in film production was dismissed as a complete failure, financially, administratively and, most importantly, artistically. Although some scholars have sporadically commented on the role played by this state institution, it has not been the object of serious academic research aimed at providing a balanced, nuanced general assessment of its overall impact. This issue of Cairo Papers hopes to address this gap in the literature on Egyptian cinema. After discussing the part played by the public sector in attempts to alleviate the financial crisis that threatened the film industry, this study investigates whether there was a real change in the general perception of the cinema, and the government’s attitude toward it, following the June 1967 Arab–Israeli war.
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