Youssef Chahine

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 »

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 »

Youssef Chahine – Al-mohager AKA The Emigrant (1994)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

The biblical tale of Joseph is told from an Egyptian perspective in this interesting character study. In this film, Joseph is called Ram. Ram, tired of his family’s backward superstitious life, and tired of being picked on by his brothers, wants to go to Egypt to study agriculture. His brothers travel with him across Sinai, but then suddenly sell him to Ozir, an Egyptian who works for a Theban military leader, Amihar. Amihar is impressed by Ram’s drive and personal charm and so grants Ram some desolate land outside the capital. Ram soon finds himself a pawn in the political and sexual games between Amihar and his wife Simihit, a high priestess of the Cult of Amun. Read More »

Youssef Chahine – Iskanderija, kaman oue kaman AKA Alexandria Again and Forever (1989)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

The last film in Youssef Chahine’s autobiographical Alexandria Trilogy stars Chahine himself as his cinematic alter ego, Yehia Mourad, completing his merging of fiction with real life and drama with psychodrama. Opening with Chahine’s triumph at the Berlin Film Festival, where he took home the Silver Bear for Alexandria…Why? (the first film in the trilogy–this is layered stuff), the film explores Yehia’s obsession with his young star, Amir (Amr Abdel-Guelil), while participating in the general strike of 1987. As Yehia fantasizes about the films they would make together (one of them looks like a loony take on Jesus Christ Superstar), he elevates Amir from a kind of adopted son to cinematic messiah. But while caught up in the strike, Yehia becomes enchanted by a former actress, Nadia (Yousra), turned dedicated revolutionary, and he decides to cast her in his next feature. Read More »

Youssef Chahine – Hadduta misrija AKA An Egyptian Story (1982)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Boldly blending personal and political histories, intercutting its fast-moving fictional scenes with documentary footage, this sort of sequel to Alexandria – Why? follows the fortunes of Chahine’s charismatic film-maker hero and alter ego, forced to review his past and learn to love himself by a critical open-heart operation. The occasionally clumsy central conceit – Yehia/Chahine standing trial for his life during surgery – is amply offset by the energy and style of this indulgent, exuberant, and immensely likeable self-portrait. Read More »

Youssef Chahine – Awdat al ibn al dal AKA The Return of the Prodigal Son (1976)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

In this Andre Gide adaptation, an activist (Ali Mahrez) is released after many years in prison and returns home, shaking up established relationships among his family members at the farm governed by his strict father. Demonstrating Chahine’s eclecticism, this is an elegant melodrama, exuberant musical, layered allegory, and profound portrait of personal and political disillusionment. This is one of Chahine’s best movies and one of the greatest Arabic films. Great performances by Mahmoud El-Meliguy and Hoda Soltan. Read More »

Youssef Chahine – Al-asfour AKA The Sparrow (1972)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

One of his most controversial films, THE SPARROW was written by Chahine in collaboration with avant-gardist Lofti el-Kholi. Set during the 1967 Six Day War between Israel and the United Arab Republic this story of familial and national divisions has become one of Chahine’s most popular films in festivals and retrospectives. A young policeman’s adoptive father occupies a high post in the force, while his biological father is reputed to have been a left-wing activist. Raouf begins to search for those who might have known his real father, while his half-brother, stationed on the Sinai front, prepares for battle. Read More »