Egypt

Youssef Chahine – El Naser Salah el Dine AKA Saladin and the Great Crusades (1963)

Quote:
During the Second and Third Crusades, Saladin beat the Franks in battle partly because he was helped by an Arab Christian named Issan. Thus he was able to reconquer Jerusalem and take many prisoners, including Guy de Lusignan, a Christian King.
This big budget production, promoted by Assia, a well-known female producer, enabled Chahine to offer an Arab perspective on the history of the Crusades such as presented by Hollywood and Cinecittà. In order to obtain Egyptian army’s logistical support and also administrative clearances, Chahine cunningly persuaded Nasser, the charismatic ruler of Egypt, that the film was being made as a tribute to him. Read More »

Mohamed Malas – Ahlam el Madina AKA Dreams of the City (1984)

“Mother, come and see how beautiful Damascus is!”, little Omar cries out to his mother, a young woman drained by mourning. The widely acclaimed, partially autobiographical, Dreams of the City marks the turn towards auteur Syrian cinema, resurrecting the memories of childhood of the working poor. A young widow and her two sons are forced to move from their native Quneytra to Damascus, where her father forces them to fend for themselves. Against the backdrop of successive military coups that punctuated the turbulent 1950s in Syria, Adib, the eldest of the boys comes of age in the vast and overwhelming urban magic of Damascus. The image of mosques, faces and the greenery of Damascus swirl by as Adib witnesses a dizzying and violent day in the city. At last, the wounded child gazes at the full moon; the city shatters against it. Read More »

Youssef Chahine – Al-ard aka The Land (1969)

This film can be considered one of the world’s best movies, actually it was chosen on top of the best 100 movies in Egypt. The movie is adopted from a novel written by Abdel Rahman El Sharkawi and was directed by Youssef Shahin. Abdel Rahman El Sharkawi is a well known novelist and play-writer, in fact he’s much more recognized for the plays he wrote. The movie “El-Ard” was produced in 1969, which falls inn a very important period of time in the Egyptian history, at this time the Egyptian ideology was being restructured. As for the film itself, I would start by the choice of actors, when you think of the actors that were in Egypt at that time, you can’t find a replacement for any of the actors in the movie, and you feel that no one else can play in any of the roles. I would start by the Great actor Mahmoud El-Meliguy. Read More »

Sherif Arafa – Tuyoor al-Zalam AKA Birds of Darkness (1995)

Fathi Nofal Imam, an unknown but no-nonsense attorney with a taste for liquor and loose women, is assigned to take a case related to one of the local politicians. The story centers on his representation of Samira, a woman up on prostitution charges. His opponent is the Islamist lawyer Ali and both of them face a stern Muslim judge. Despite formidable obstacles, the clever Imam is able to work the crooked justice system and use religion to free Samira, after which he becomes a personal adviser for the local politician. Read More »

Rami Imam – Hassan wa Morcus AKA Hassan and Marcus (2008)

When the lives of Sheikh Mahmoud, a Muslim preacher (played by Omar Sharif), and Boulos, a Christian priest (played by Adel Emam), are threatened by religious extremists on both sides, the Egyptian government inducts them into a witness protection program that requires them to disguise themselves as the Christian Marcus and the Muslim Sheikh Hassan, in a reversal of their religious identities. When they unwittingly move into the same building, a friendship blossoms that must, along with a romance between their respective children, withstand the difficulties of prejudice and social persecution. The film addresses issues of religious extremism, intolerance and sectarian violence, and emphasizes the possibility of friendship and love between members of different religions. Read More »

Youssef Chahine – Siraa Fil-Wadi AKA Struggle In the Valley (1954)

I have watched this movie maybe 20 times till now ,and every time i got out with the feeling that this movie is great , it gives you a great picture about Egypt before 1952 , The land owner that control the farmers (Basha) and treat them like salves , the killing circle (Al-Tar) that is well known in upper Egypt , and the love story that will never change with time , and the evil and greedy people that never get enough , it is all in this movies. The uncountable number of stars with a very talented director gave us this state of art movie. (islamx – IMDB). Read More »

Niazi Mostafa – Salama fi khair AKA Everything is Fine (1937)

Hailed as one of the greatest Egyptian comedies of all time, Everything Is Fine stars Egyptian theatre legend Naguib El Rihany as Salama, a humble office clerk whose routine bank-deposit errand quickly evolves into the adventure of a lifetime. After finding the bank closed and the streets seemingly swarming with thieves, Salama decides to place the company money in a safe at the luxurious Nefretiti Palace Hotel. But things go hilariously awry when the hotel manager mistakes him for an eagerly-awaited guest, the wealthy Prince Kandahar of Bloudestan. As in the early films of The Marx Brothers and other timeless screwball comedies of the 1930s, Everything Is Fine pokes fun at society’s elite while taking viewers on a fast-paced comedic romp that will leave audiences of all ages feeling fine. Read More »