I wondered what Coptic believers think? Do you have traditions about this episode?
From a not-too-distant spiritual brother of the Copts; yes they do have traditions concerning the Holy Family's stay in Egypt. There are several Churches and Monasteries that are built on the sites of places that the Family visited and Copts consider it a great honor that their country was visited by the Family.
As to the claim by this documentary that the ‘idea’ of Mary started in Medieval Europe is spurious to say the least. The earliest Church in Egypt dedicated to St. Mary was in 274 AD, note: before even the first Ecumenical Council
for any would be ‘Constantine conspiracy’ buffs.
These humanities professors just have a problem with Christianity, that is the premise we must begin with. If they showed any slight consistency and took issue with religion in general I would have less of a problem and let that problem be one between them and God, but they don’t have a problem with religion, they have a problem with Christianity. They are always producing documentaries to ‘debunk’ or ‘secularize’ elements of Christianity while at the same time they produce documentaries glorifying animism, Islam, Judaism (all of which they usually misrepresent and misunderstand), and anything else so long as it is not Christian. Even when they deal with themes in the Old Testament, it is usually directed at what the new ‘evidence’ implies for Christians but not what it equally implies for Jews.
The only people who are really standing up for Christian belief are some of the films put out by the Protestants, but then they put an ‘empirical’ rationalist bent to it that ends up serving the same premise as the ‘Bible debunkers.’ Apostolic Christians should start to use their scholarship for more profound reasons than to in-fight, prove who is lesser heretic than thou, and basically talk amongst ourselves. We should be using it to popularize Orthodoxy to those who are not aware of it to begin with.
Ok, the end of my rant, I am hungry.