Egyptian president says foreign policy based on Planet of the Apes

Contributed by
Jan 14, 2013, 1:38 PM EST

When you sit down to speak with the first-ever democratically elected president of Egypt, you know where you don't expect the conversation to turn? Chartlon Heston movies. Yet somehow, and at the president's own behest, that is exactly what happened while talking about foreign affairs.

Mohamed Morsi isn't exactly what you'd define as the typical leader of a country. He's an engineer, for one thing, and recently he granted himself sweeping new powers that threw the entire political landscape of Egypt out of whack. All this, plus he's a fan of Planet of the Apes. A big fan, apparently.

In a recent interview with Time magazine, Morsi began talking about the responsibility of his nation and its place in the world but, seemingly out of nowhere, began using Planet of the Apes as a metaphor.

I remember a movie. Which one? Planet of the Apes. The old version, not the new one. There is new one. Which is different. Not so good. It's not expressing the reality as it was the first one. But at the end, I still remember, this is the conclusion: When the big monkey, he was head of the supreme court, I think -- in the movie! -- and there was a big scientist working for him, cleaning things, has been chained there. And it was the planet of the apes after the destructive act of a big war, and atomic bombs and whatever in the movie. And the scientist was asking him to do something, this was 30 years ago: "Don't forget you are a monkey." He tells him, "Don't ask me about this dirty work." What did the big ape, the monkey say? He said, "You're human, you did it [to] yourself." That's the conclusion. Can we do something better for ourselves? I saw it 30 years ago. That is the role of the art. This is the very important role of art. Gone with the Wind has been treating social problems. Five in Hell. That was the Arabic title. Five Americans working behind German lines and they were using primitive military devices. I think it was Charles Bronson or something like that. My hard disk still carries a few things!

We're not sure what's most interesting, that he mentions Planet of the Apes in the first place, that he alludes to the possibility that he's illegally downloading movies through BitTorrent, or the fact that there is no such scene in Planet of the Apes.

What was he driving at? Something about international politics? Personal responsibility? One thing is for certain—he has probably seen Planet of the Apes. Maybe.

(via Washington Post)

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