By 11am this morning Pharrell Williams’ pop friendly and infectious “Happy” had racked up 138,948,968 views on Youtube and obviously making him and his record company a lot of money. If it’s not enough that it is playing on every commercial radio station (or in every department) store and is “the world’s first 24 hour music video” (who watches a music video that long?), it is also now the subject of homage videos in which people lip-synch the lyrics to “Happy.” And, like everyone else, Africans want in on the game. The videos are city-themed. Enjoy.
The subject is fascinating, both broadly and specifically. Specifically, “Jews of Egypt” explores the history of a group that has been all but forgotten in a country whose current Jewish population, by several accounts, amounts to roughly 200 individuals. More broadly, the film’s value is manifold. It investigates how history is written, and the impact of parties who are written out of said history. It also calls into question assumptions surrounding Judaism in the Middle East and support of Israel; and beyond this, the relationship between nationalism and religion.