Quests for justice across the Mediterranean: Sorelle and *Zayy ish-Shams

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Through the Egyptian remake of an Italian television series, the article explores the shared – and often overlooked – imaginaries of crime and its investigation that make such work possible across the Mediterranean and, in turn, cast light on broader imaginaries of law, and of the complex relations between citizens and law enforcement. In the Italian television drama Sorelle (Sisters) (2017), the sudden disappearance of her sister prompts the lead character to set off on a journey to solve this mystery. She is fortunate enough to have a close friend working in the police force, but in her struggle to conduct the investigations she is quite alone, and the Egyptian remake *Zayy ish-Shams (‘Like the sun’) (2019) echoes this sentiment. After considering how the two productions were presented within the dominant formats and genre characterizations, this article proceeds to situate them within the Italian and Egyptian formulas of crime drama and concludes that the Egyptian remake enables a new appreciation of an often-marginalized strain of Italian crime drama.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-56
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Egyptian crime formula
  • Italian crime drama
  • Ramadan TV series
  • genre characterization
  • imaginaries of law
  • law enforcement’s marginality
  • ordinary citizen detecting
  • television remakes


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