Preview, Can a “Free Trip to Egypt” broaden Middle Americans’ minds?

“Travel,” Mark Twain said, ““is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

So why not round up a bunch of people who never got to “broaden their minds” via travel — the working class, many of them of the “Make America Great Again” persuasion — and let them see a part of the Middle East that no church-sponsored tour would take them to.

Canadian-Egyptian producer Tarek Mounib did just that for this documentary, “Free Trip to Egypt,”visiting sections of America where it was too easy to find prejudice (sees the clips in the trailer), dragging narrow minded Christians and Jews and taking them to a country where, well, an authoritarian runs the show and crazed fundamentalists threaten to seize power, one day or another.

One thing we can get from the trailer to this doc, getting one of those “one night only” releases June 12, is that Mounib is a big believer in getting people to talk and listen to one another.

Without knowing the film’s backers, it’s hard to know if there’s an ulterior motive beyond the one that seems to sunny on the surface. But I am intrigued.

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