Egypt, Morocco ban 'Zionist' Exodus film
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Egypt and Morocco have banned Hollywood’s big screen biblical epic "Exodus: Gods and Kings" because of what Egyptian censors described as "historical inaccuracies".
The head of the Egyptian censorship board said these included the film's depiction of Jews as having built the Pyramids, and that an earthquake, not a miracle by Moses, caused the Red Sea to part.
"According to Egyptians, this way of depicting things is a way to sustain the greater state of Israel going from the river Nile to the Euphrates in Iraq", said Alexandre Buccianti, correspondent for RFI in Egypt.
Egypt's Culture Minister Gaber Asfour told AFP that Ridley Scott's blockbuster was rife with mistakes, including an apparent claim that "Moses and the Jews built the pyramids".
"This totally contradicts proven historical facts," Asfour said.
"It is a Zionist film," he said. "It gives a Zionist view of history and contains historical inaccuracies and that's why we have decided to ban it."
Morrocco has also reportedly banned the film, which has so far grossed $107 million in two weeks in worldwide release.
Controversial Biblical movies
Twenty-First Century Fox Inc declined to give a reason for the Egyptian ban, but films that depict biblical figures have been prohibited before in the Muslim country.
Paramount Pictures’ Bible tale "Noah" was banned in several countries in the Middle East this year for its depiction of a prophet, which is forbidden in Islam.
"Exodus", directed by Ridley Scott and starring Christian Bale, dramatizes the Bible’s Book of Exodus about Moses leading the Jews out of Egypt.
The film, which has an estimated $140 million budget, has also come under criticism in the West for casting mostly white actors in the lead roles and some historical anachronisms.
The film’s ban comes as Sony Pictures faced a devastating cyberattack blamed on North Korea for "The Interview," a raunchy comedy that depicts a fictional plot to assassinate North Korea leader Kim Jong Un.
(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP)