Thursday, March 29, 2007
The last week has been a whirl of pyramids, taxis, dinners, newshound poker, work, hairdressers, and movies. It never fails. As soon as I'm about to leave a place, I suddenly get a life.
Last night, Muneer and I went to see "Babel." It was my first experience with censorship in Egypt. When we saw "Ghost Rider," nothing was censored, and when I went with Craig and his students to see the documentary about street girls, it was a private showing at the British Council so nothing was cut.
In "Babel," the violence was untouched. But the nudity was cut. And there is no art in the cutting. It's just a sudden lurch in the film. You know something has been cut, and it's clear from the context what it was. It didn't change the film any as you knew what had happened anyway. My biggest complaint would be that it takes you right out of the film, and then you have to wait to get sucked back in. Apparently, "Last King of Scotland" was significantly butchered--at the hospital scene, approriately enough.
I fly to Spain on Monday night. There are no plans to bring me back to Cairo, but it could happen depending on how my job evolves. My colleagues here have invited me back. Maybe I'll take them up on it.
What should I do on my last week in Egypt? I want to go to Suez to see ships sail through the desert. I have never been to Alexandria. I need to go to Khan El Khalili to buy some gifts. And there there are musems, Coptic Cairo, the City of the Dead... there won't be time for everything.