The shocking part of Egypt banning Ridley Scott’s biblical epic Exodus: Gods and Kings isn’t that the movie won’t be shown, it’s their reasons behind the dismissal. The country’s censorship board decided that the historical accuracy of the film was far more damning than its religious nature or all of the white people running around playing dress up.
Egypt’s censorship head, Abdul Sattar Fathi, outlined his reasoning to local reporters. From Deadline:
“One of the key historical mistakes made by this film is that it claims the Jews were the ones who built the Pyramids,” Fathi was quoted as saying. “The film treats Moses as an army general, not as a prophet. Furthermore, it shows ancient Egyptians as a mob group persecuting peaceful Jews. Our board has refused this out of respect for Egyptians’ feelings.”
Yeah, there is an “anti-zionist” trend through a lot of the reasons, but the criticisms are supported by actual history. IndieWire points out that the films depicts the Jewish slaves having built the pyramids and Sphinx when historians have determined being built “around 2540 B.C., roughly 500 years before biblical tradition establishes the existence of Abraham.”
The idea that this movie would see the light of day in the Middle East was silly at best. Darren Aronofsky’s Noah faced a similar fate just earlier in the year (and they should be happy it did, it was terrible). It is just extra tough for Exodus because the film has already faced so much criticism already.