The appearance of the character of a femme fatale in Egyptian cinema in the mid-1950s is deeply intertwined with the new social and moral imprint made by the Nasserist regime. At a time when women’s participation in the public sphere was regulated, the portrayal of the evil woman was intended to define how the good woman should behave as well as the terrible fate in store for those who dared to flout the limits. This evil woman was embodied in the character of the Oriental dancer who was to be seen, from that time on, as a fallen woman. This article aims to discuss the mutation of the character of the dancer from a bint al balad (lit. “girl of the country”) to a femme fatale by analyzing three films starring two icons of the time, Hind Rustum and Tahia Carioca.

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