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Record-Setting Egyptian Film Stirs Debate and Controversy
Published July 6, 2006

The Egyptian film The Yacoubian Building has stirred controversy and debate for its realistic portrayal of life in the country.

The Egyptian film The Yacoubian Building has stirred controversy and debate for its realistic portrayal of life in the country. Depicting such taboos as homosexuality, police brutality, corruption and terrorism, audiences used to viewing heavily censored material received the film with a multitude of positive and negative reactions.

Released two weeks ago, it has brought more than a million dollars per day from the box office and remains at the top of the charts. It has also set the record as the most expensive Egyptian film ever made.

Director Marwan Hamed was inspired by the honesty of author Ala Aswani’s book of the same title.

The director told the BCC, "We need to talk about the taboos, and we need to cancel the word 'taboos' from our lives – we need to talk about everything to become better. If we don't, if we hide everything in denial, how are we going to become better?”