On Tuesday, 8 December at 4 pm, an English-language virtual lecture entitled “Some Kind of Bubba Ho-tep – Ancient Egypt in Movies from Cleopatra to Vengeful Mummies” will take place as part of the exhibition Egypt of Glory: Art from the Nile Valley. The lecture by the Finnish Egyptologist Mia Meri focusses on the portrayal of Ancient Egypt in film art.
Ancient Egypt has fascinated people since it perished. After the invention of moving pictures, ancient Egypt found its way onto the big screen. Films filled the minds of people with images of vast treasures and beautiful femme fatales, as well as scary mummies and depictions of the Exodus. The interest in ancient Egypt continues to this day, but now the films are influenced by video game imagery and CGI effects. For many people, films and other forms of popular culture are their only sources of knowledge of ancient Egypt. What are the most common film tropes about ancient Egypt and are there examples of films that an Egyptologist would recommend? Why does it matter how history is portrayed in the entertainment industry?
Mia Meri is a Finnish Egyptologist (MA) who specialises in ancient Egyptian art. She is a member of the board of the Finnish Egyptological Society and has taught classes on Egyptology for many years at the university level. Her first book, Egypti – kala sarkofagissa ja muita mysteereitä (Egypt – Fish in a Sarcophagus and Other Mysteries) will be published in October 2020.
Estonia’s first major exhibition of ancient Egyptian art features objects that are thousands of years old from one of the world’s most important ancient Egyptian collections: the Museo Egizio (Egyptian Museum) in Turin, Italy. Simultaneously with the exhibition at the Kumu Art Museum, the treasures of the Egyptian Museum will also be on display at the Amos Rex Art Museum in Helsinki. The large-scale joint project of the three museums provides a unique opportunity to discover the ancient world of ancient Egypt without having to travel very far.