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Haifa Wehbe: Too Sexy for Egypt

The Lebanese actress' latest cinematic feat has been deemed inappropriate by PM Ibrahim Mahleb, despite garnering rave reviews from critics.

Movie sexpot Haifa Wehbe's latest film has been banned in Egypt amid claims that it is too raunchy for the big screen, at the request of interim PM, Ibrahim Mahleb. Halawet Rouh (The Sweetness of Soul) tells the tale of a working class woman who become an object of desire for local men when her husband goes away. The movie has already won glowing reviews from movie-goers and is reported to have grossed more than LE 1 Million since it premiered last week. However, the movie's steamy sex scenes have proven too hold to handle for stuffy censors who claim that the movie's raunchy scenes "violate the Egyptian moral code."
Meanwhile, a review in a conservative daily newspaper even branded the film an "Egyptian Porno," while the reviewer accused the film of only being concerned with "sexually arousing the audience." The move comes just days after the movie was shelved in Qatar. At the same time, parents' watchdog, the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM) claims "the film includes language and scenes that negatively affects the morals of children." However Wehbe has hit back at her detractors claiming that they hadn't even watched the movie. Meanwhile, the film’s producer Mohamed Al-Sobky branded the decision to ban the film “is a shame for the Egyptian cinema.” He added: “What has been said about the film are rumors, and this decision will cost me a loss of 15 million EGP.”
The film has now been referred to the film to the General Organization for Artworks Control ahead of a final decision. A promotional song for the film carrying the same title and sung by one of Egypt’s most celebrated pop singers, Hakim, topped 4 million views in less than a week. Halawet Rouh had already come under criticism for plagiarism, as the trailer seemed to be a complete copy of an advert featuring Italian actress, Monica Belluci.