February 3, 2011

Indiana Jones, Hollywood, and the Egyptian Revolution

Just recently I was pushing an Egyptian vacation on my family. I dreamed of exploring the pyramids, carrying torches in tombs, and commenting on crocodiles as they chomped on water buffalo, uhhh, I mean commenting on crocodiles as they chilled on the banks of the Nile. But that's all changed in the past week. Egypt is in the midst of a revolution and being there as a tourist, even an adventurous one doesn't sound that fun.

Most of what I imagine Egypt to be like comes from the movies, wait, correction, all of what I imagine it to be like comes from the movies. Films such as "Raiders Of The Lost Arc," "The Mummy I & II" (Brendan Fraser 4 Life!), and to some extent "Stargate" conjured an image of magic, history, and adventurous chaos. In almost all these films, Egypt is wild place. Indiana is chased through markets, Fraser is killing the undead hordes, and James Spader is talking about the science of nefarious alien Pharohs.

But now with the country is real chaos, it makes me realize how one sided Hollywood's portrayal of the country is. Sure in recent times films like "Cairo Time" show a more developed country, but generally the land of adventure still persists. And now that there is chaos in the streets, I feel the stereotype will continue to persist until the revolution ends. In some ways Hollywood has prepped us for this revolution, where we go from here, it's up to the Egyptian people and Hollywood to decide.

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