In theory, I only need to attend 10 hours of lessons per week and enjoy day off on Thursday. In reality, I stayed in School almost everyday from morning until library close, because there are too many informative seminar and interesting class. Starting from last week, I add "Middle East Movie and Cinema" into my schedule.
The class hour of this course is extremely long, from 1pm to 6pm every Thursday because movie time is included. The lecturer is a Taiwan Chinese Lady who also teaches Arabic in SOAS. I didn't take this course because I was misled by our department, the staff told me this course didn't exist but actully it is still carrying on!
The first term concentrates in Egyptian cinema. Last lesson we watched a film produced in 1961(5 years after revolution), named "A man in the house". Egypt at that time is ruled by Nasser's authoritarian and nationalist government. The content and story of this movie, is really similar to the revolutinary and propaganda film which Chinese Communist Party produced(Such as 民族的吼聲，當年的GPA3075，由SY帶隊去電影資料館). The signal, the movie language is so similar! I cannot stand laughing during the whole course.
Although the political agenda is obvious in this film, it is still very interesting and funny. The story is adapted from a novel. It is about a man named Ibrahim, who assisinated the UK backed puppert Prime Minister because the government was too corrupted and massacred their own people in demonstration.
He escaped from the jail afterward, and seeked "asylum" from one of his friend Mohem who was totally insulated from politics because police probably wouldn't target on this family. During his asylum, lots of jokes interwined into the tension between police and each family member. Of course, at last Ibrahim died but his party overturned the corrupted government finally.
The history of Egyptian movie is quite interesting, before 1956 revolution, happy and interesting musical was the main genre. After 1956, most social sectors were nationalized and movie become the tool of ruler to mobilize the mass for political agenda. After 1967, the humiliated defeat by Israel in 6 days war, the sentiment of Egyptian film changes again.(will study later, need to discuss movie in English, difficult!)
How good if I can only attend the classes and learn but don't need to submit homework and take examinations?