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Citing 'Historical Inaccuracies,' Egypt Bans 'Exodus' From Theaters


This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Eric Westervelt. You thought the movie "The Interview" has viewing problems, try showing "Exodus: Gods And Kings" in Egypt.


BEN KINGSLEY: (As Nun) You know something's wrong. You've always felt it. Your parents never told you the truth.

CHRISTIAN BALE: (As Moses) What truth?

KINGSLEY: (As Nun) The year of your birth, there was a prophecy that our leader would be born to liberate us. That leader is you, Moses.

WESTERVELT: "Exodus" is Hollywood's latest biblical adaptation. And this one's in 3-D. Panned by critics, it's been controversial in the U.S. for a variety of reasons - casting choices, in particular, as white actors play the film's major roles but black actors mostly play servants and criminals. While it hasn't been a box office success, moviegoers here in the U.S. can still dig into tubs of popcorn and watch it on the big screen - not so in post-revolutionary Egypt. There, the military-backed government and its sensors banned the epic on the grounds of inaccuracies and a Zionist view of history. They objected to the suggestion Jews built the pyramids and to the portrayal of the parting of the Red Sea as the result of an earthquake and tidal phenomenon instead of a miracle by Moses. "Exodus" has also been banned in Morocco. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.