Hassan and Marcus
|Hassan and Marcus|
|Directed by||Ramy Imam|
Omar Sharif, Jr.
|Distributed by||Good News Group|
Being the first collaboration between Adel Emam and Omar Sharif, arguably the most prominent actors in Egypt and the Middle East, the movie was a much-anticipated summer blockbuster. However, its message proved so controversial that Facebook groups sporting Adel Emam's picture in Coptic garb called for a boycott of his movies, and the resulting emotional distress is reported to have prompted Imam to move from his home in Cairo to a summer house in Porto Marina, a resort on Egypt's northern coast. Imam, Sharif and other collaborators on the film have vehemently defended its content and criticised many conservatives and religious extremists who consider it blasphemous.
When the lives of Mahmoud, a Muslim sheikh (Omar Sharif) and Boulos, a Christian priest (Adel Emam) are threatened by religious extremists on both sides, the Egyptian government inducts them into a witness protection program that requires them to disguise themselves as the Christian, Marcus Abdel-Shahid, and a Muslim sheikh, Hassan el-Attar, respectively.
When, unwittingly, they move into the same building, a friendship blossoms that must, along with a romance between the protagonists' children, withstand the difficulties of prejudice and social persecution.
Hassan and Morcos do not attempt to name the reasons for the tension between Christians and Muslims but, according to the political writer and Coptic Christian Sameh Fawzi, the conflicts have nothing to do with religion.
- Adel Emam as Boulos/Hassan el Attar
- Omar Sharif as Mahmoud/Marcus
- Lebleba as Matilda/Zeenat
- Hana El Shorbagy as Khairia
- Mohamed Imam as Gerges/Emad
- Shery Adel as Mariam/Fatima
The film addresses issues of religious extremism, intolerance and sectarian violence, and emphasises the possibility of friendship and love between members of different religions.
Imam said of the film:
I have declared war using art against the extremists—against those who foment differences between us. I hope Christians and Muslims will leave the cinema and embrace one another.
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