Egyptian security agencies have stopped the screening of a documentary on the Egyptian Jewish community a day before it was due to debut in local cinemas, the film producer said in a statement Tuesday.
He said no reasons were given.
The "Jews of Egypt", a documentary that follows the lives of the Egyptian Jewish community in the first half of the 20th century until they left under duress in large numbers in the late 1950s, was screened in Egypt last year in a private film festival and had been approved by censorship, a regular procedure in Egypt.
Film producer Haytham el-Khamissy said he heard from the chief of the censorship authority that a security agency asked to view the movie before granting it a license to be shown in theaters.
"I was shocked when he told me this and when I learned that this had already happened" before the 2012 festival screening, el-Khamissy said in a statement posted on the film's official Facebook page.
"There is no excuse for this except delay and obstruction," he said. "I announce the delay of the screening of 'Jews of Egypt' until a solution is found for this inexplicable problem, inherited from long years in the parlors of the Egyptian state securities and which aim to terrorize thought and repress creativity."
Under the former regime of autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak, security authorities kept a tight lid on discussions of religion and minority groups, occasionally banning books or rejecting movie scripts that dealt with such issues.
It was not possible to reach officials for comments late Tuesday.
The film was also screened in the U.S. It was due to debut in three theaters in Egypt Wednesday.
The film director Amir Ramses describes it as a documentary about the cosmopolitan Egypt in the early 20th century, asking, "how did the Jews of Egypt turn in the eyes of Egyptians from partners in the same country to enemies?"
The film is based on testimonies of researchers, political figures and exiled Egyptian Jews.
Egypt's once thriving Jewish community largely left Egypt more than 60 years ago amid hostilities between Egypt and Israel. Estimates say about 65,000 Jews left Egypt since the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, most of them traveling to Europe and the West. Some settled in Israel.
Their departure was fueled by rising nationalist sentiment during the Arab-Israeli wars, harassment and some direct expulsions by then-President Gamal Abdel-Nasser, and attacks on Jewish properties.
Only scores of Jews, most of them elderly, remain in Egypt. Synagogues are heavily guarded and are mainly tourist sites now.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Thursday, May 23 2013 12:24 AM EDT2013-05-23 04:24:26 GMT
Those who knew the victim of a deadly shooting in Princeton speak out to 14 News about the struggles they say she had with the suspect. Authorities tells 14 News the suspect, Jason Perry is in the GibsonMore >>
Those who knew the victim of a deadly shooting in Princeton speak out to 14 News about the struggles they say she had with the suspect.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 12:54 AM EDT2013-05-23 04:54:04 GMT
MISSOURI CITY, TX (KPRC/NBC) - A Texas high school teacher's heart wasn't beating when she delivered her baby, but three of her co-workers are credited with saving her life and her newborn's. Erica Nigrelli,More >>
A Texas high school teacher's heart wasn't beating when she delivered her baby, but three of her co-workers are credited with saving her life and her newborn's.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 8:58 PM EDT2013-05-22 00:58:27 GMT
A New York man was arrested for making threatening phone calls to the families of the victims of the Newtown school shooting and Connecticut lawmakers. On Dec. 14, 20 first graders and six adults wereMore >>
A New York man was arrested for making threatening phone calls to the families of the victims of the Newtown school shooting and Connecticut lawmakers.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 12:21 AM EDT2013-05-23 04:21:05 GMT
Law enforcement from Indiana and Kentucky were in the 14 News Interactive Center answering your calls and taking any tips to help catch those most wanted. Some of the cases we've featured have ended withMore >>
law enforcement from Indiana and Kentucky were in the 14 News Interactive Center Tuesday night answering your calls and taking any tips to help catch those most wanted. Some of the cases we've featured have ended with suspects in custody.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 9:26 PM EDT2013-05-23 01:26:04 GMT
An Evansville man has been arrested on charges of child exploitation. Around 9:00 Wednesday morning, Indiana State Police and detectives from the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force executedMore >>
During an investigation, detectives were able to download multiple images depicting child pornography and trace the online activity to an Evansville man's home. More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 7:09 PM EDT2013-05-22 23:09:42 GMT
Three new businesses are moving into Downtown Evansville, in hopes of cashing in on the area's revitalization. The newest bar, Babel, has a swanky, sophisticated atmosphere. Owners say before 10:00More >>
Three new businesses are moving into Downtown Evansville, in hopes of cashing in on the area's revitalization.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 9:06 PM EDT2013-05-23 01:06:34 GMT
Gibson Co. dispatch confirms a report of shots fired in the area of Los Aztecas on W. Broadway in Princeton. According to our media partner, the Princeton Daily Clarion, shooting suspect fled the sceneMore >>
Princeton Police Chief W.W. George tells 14 News the suspect, believed to be her boyfriend, shot the woman as she and her 13-year-old son were walking in the Los Aztecas parking lotMore >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 5:04 PM EDT2013-05-21 21:04:55 GMT
Toledo's water theft investigator is looking into another complaint of water service being improperly received in a home. On Tuesday, a garden hose was found connected from a house to another home.More >>
The city of Toledo's water theft investigator is looking into another complaint of water service being improperly received in a home. On Tuesday, a garden hose was found connected from a house on Arden Place to another home where service had been shut off. More >>
1115 Mt. Auburn Road
Evansville, IN 47720