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#war of attrition

Few movies have gripped the Egyptian consciousness like Al-Karnak (1975) had done upon its release. Based on Naguib Mahfouz’s titular novel (1974), the cinematic classic depicts candid political oppression, torture, rape, and paranoia unlike any film before it. Graphic scenes typically startle audiences, but for Egyptians, those scenes were an opportunity to grieve their reality. For the children of the 1952 Revolution, Al-Karnak was a cinematic rendition of the political traumas many had faced during the years building up to…