In the Egyptian cinema, the American Dream has often been represented as a mirage, doomed to clash against complex realities. Amrīkā šīkā bīkā (“America Abracadabra”, 1993), by Ḫayrī Bišāra, displays a stereotyped image of an unknown country that is not a dreamt-of destination, but, anyway, is more than a background for a history of migration: Romania. I argue that its excessive folkrorization turns to be a tool to reinvent this country, for commercial purposes, but the remarkable point is that Romania is placed, for certain aspects, closer than the usual western “Other”. The pessimistic vision of the project of migration, clearly evoked by the film title, seems to be a tool to draw, more than an easy critic against Romania, a melodramatic narrative of the theme of the migrant’s identity, his reflection over Egyptianity, as well as gender, social and economic issues. The dominant nostalgic narration anticipates the predictable ending of the film, and helps build a strong nationalist discourse.

Amrika shika bika and the reinvention of Romania

Aldo Nicosia
2018

Abstract

In the Egyptian cinema, the American Dream has often been represented as a mirage, doomed to clash against complex realities. Amrīkā šīkā bīkā (“America Abracadabra”, 1993), by Ḫayrī Bišāra, displays a stereotyped image of an unknown country that is not a dreamt-of destination, but, anyway, is more than a background for a history of migration: Romania. I argue that its excessive folkrorization turns to be a tool to reinvent this country, for commercial purposes, but the remarkable point is that Romania is placed, for certain aspects, closer than the usual western “Other”. The pessimistic vision of the project of migration, clearly evoked by the film title, seems to be a tool to draw, more than an easy critic against Romania, a melodramatic narrative of the theme of the migrant’s identity, his reflection over Egyptianity, as well as gender, social and economic issues. The dominant nostalgic narration anticipates the predictable ending of the film, and helps build a strong nationalist discourse.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/229772
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