Ashab wala Aaz – one of countless remakes of the Italian comedy-drama Perfetti Sconosciutti (Perfect Strangers) – features renowned actors from Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan.
The movie is about a group of friends meeting for dinner and deciding to make the night more interesting by agreeing to share every text message, email and phone call received with the rest of the group.
As events unfold, the game reveals shocking truths about members of the group as it touches on topics from adultery and premarital sex to homosexuality, all widely considered taboos in Egypt.
The film, which was released on January 20, immediately shot up to the most-watched list in Egypt.
But in the ensuing fracas, lawsuits have been filed against the culture ministry and the censor’s office for allowing the film to be streamed, and MPs have called for a special session to discuss whether to ban Netflix altogether.
Online, many slammed celebrated Egyptian actress Mona Zaki, who took part in what they dubbed a “disgraceful” movie.
Amid the storm, the US streaming giant has refrained from commenting.
One lawyer argued that the film “promotes homosexuality” while another said it seeks to “destroy family values” as part of a “systematic war on the morals” of Egyptian society.While homosexuality is not expressly outlawed in Egypt, it is often punished under loosely worded laws prohibiting “debauchery”. (TheSouthAfrican)