Abstract

This study analyzed the content of selected Egyptian movies that portrayed mental and psychological illness throughout the history of the Egyptian cinema between 1923 and 2015. A list that includes 42 movies depicting characters with mental or psychological illnesses was compiled, out of which 13 movies were selected for analysis. Selection criteria included: representation of the mental or psychological illness/disorder as the main character or issue around which the plot revolves, popularity of the leading actor or actress, and most importantly the significance of the movie in relation to the research questions of the study. Through content analysis of the selected movies, the study explored how they depicted individuals with mental or psychological illness, their characters, personality traits, their interaction with the society, and the nature of their relationship with their therapists (when applicable), exploring the cultural aspects and societal values within that context, in an attempt to explore that portrayal between 1923 and 2015. To further enhance the study, interviews with professionals in the media, film and psychology fields were conducted, to find out more about the representation of mental illness in the Egyptian cinema. Drawing on the media framing theory, the research questions pursued by this study examined the physical characteristics and character attributes as well as mental health indicators of mentally-ill individuals, as portrayed in Egyptian movies produced between 1923 and 2015. The study further attempted to look for the various connotations that the depictions of mental and psychological illnesses in Egyptian movies communicate about mental/psychological illness. Findings of the study revealed a generally negative portrayal of mental illness, labeling the mentally-ill as unacceptably different from other normal individuals in the society. Findings varied based on the movie genre; where comedy movies presented clearly exaggerated portrayals of various elements of mental illness, while drama ones presented more intense aspects, however still objectifying patients and reducing them to their illnesses.

Department

Journalism & Mass Communication Department

Degree Name

MA in Journalism & Mass Communication

Date of Award

2-1-2016

Online Submission Date

January 2017

First Advisor

Ismail, Amani

Committee Member 1

Ellis, Kate

Committee Member 2

Foda, Ashraf

Document Type

Thesis

Extent

106 p.

Rights

The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

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Approval has been obtained for this item

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