“The Golden Age before the Golden Age”

  1. In the opening excerpt of “The Golden Age before the Golden Age” (pages 292 and 293), Walter Arm burst states he is trying to reclaim some examples of Egyptian film as “low” popular culture that are meaningful in the part they played in helping construct a newly emerging sense of Egyptian national identity in the first half of the
    20th century. Thinking back to films you have seen from elsewhere, what is an example of a film that you can make a case for helping construct some sense of national cultural identity?
  2. Armbrust spends time thinking about questions of “taste” as a way of not simply evaluating but of exerting
    power in defining ideas of possible shared culture (and at times either celebrating or rejecting “undesirable
    elements”). Would you classify your film example as in “good” or “bad” taste, and, if so, why? How do you think
    that influences reception of the film by viewers?
  3. The plot of Flirtation of Girls, the “classic” Egyptian film that Armbrust focuses on, is summarized on pages
    306-309. What film from your own experience of viewing does this remind you of and why?

Sample Solution