Tag Archives: Arabic

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

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 – 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 »

Suhaib Gasmelbari – Talking About Trees (2019)

We follow four Sudanese filmmakers on their journey through dusty archives and bureaucratic institutions. Their dream: To bring cinema back to Sudan. Read More »

Omar Amiralay – Film-muhawalah, an sadd al-furat aka Film-Essay On The Euphrates Dam (1970) (DVD)

Synopsis: This first film by documentary filmmaker Omar Amiralay follows the construction of a dam on the Euphrates river that is supposed to bring tremendous improvement in the lives of villages around it. 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 »

Scandar Copti & Yaron Shani – Ajami (2009)

Synopsis:
Ajami is an area of Jaffa where Arabs, Palestinians, Jews and Christians try to live together in an atmosphere that is -to say the least – electric. Omar, an Israeli Arab, struggles to save his family from elimination by a gang of extortionists. He also courts a beautiful Christian girl, Hadir, but marrying her is far from obvious. Malek, an illegal Palestinian worker, tries to collect enough money to pay for his mother’s operation. Dando, an Israeli cop, does his utmost to trace his missing brother who may have been killed by Palestinians. Binj, Malek and Omar’s Arab friend, suffers from being rejected by other members of his community for mixing with an Israeli girl. All of them will meet violence, most of the time … with violence. 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 »