On Twitter, hashtags, archival videos and pictures from the actual events in 2013 resurfaced as people protested the episode’s portrayal.
Ala’ Mubarak, son of another ousted Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, tweeted: “The Choice 2 documents the events in Rab’a and confirms the presence of armed men in Rab’a, on the rooftops, and shows the violence, and the killings that were committed as well as the burning of churches and the attacks on police stations. Salute to those who worked on this series to the heroes of the police and the army and may God have mercy on the souls of our martyrs.”
Fact and fiction
‘The Choice’ claims to use archival footage from several sources such as the news channel Al-Jazeera and the Egyptian Center for Human Rights, as well as witness testimonies.
The juxtaposition of carefully selected short clips and images from the actual events with those produced especially for the TV series – in addition to the use of real names for some characters, and interviews with soldiers and family members of Egyptian security personnel – can have the effect of masking, if not manipulating, the truth and blur the line between fact and fiction.
The show glorifies the army and the security forces, depicting their might, dedication, humanity, humility and religiosity. The soldiers in the show also have personal plots, they enjoy outings with their children, relatives and friends. Meanwhile, members of the Muslim Brotherhood or any other group demonised in the show, do not receive any such humanity.
The show is seemingly in line with the regime’s propaganda, highlighting the ‘heroic’ role of the military and security apparatus in Egypt in fighting ‘Islamic terrorism’. It is no surprise that the polarization it provoked among its viewers corresponds to the polarization about the regime itself.
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