Cinema of Egypt: Wikis


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Egyptian cinema is Egypt's flourishing Egyptian Arabic-language film industry based in Cairo. Since 1976, Cairo has held the annual Cairo International Film Festival, which has been accredited by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations.[1] There's also another festival held in Alexandria. Of the more than 4,000 short- and feature-length films made in Arabic-speaking countries since 1908, more than three-quarters were Egyptian.[2]



While a limited number of silent films were made in Egypt (with 1927's Layla notable as the first full-length feature), Cairo's film industry became a regional force with the coming of sound. Between 1930 and 1936, various small studios produced at least 44 feature films. In 1936, Studio Misr, financed by industrialist Talaat Harb, emerged as the leading Egyptian equivalent to Hollywood's major studios, a role the company retained for three decades.[3]

"The golden age" and after

The 1940s and 1950s are generally considered the "golden age" of Egyptian cinema. As in the West, films responded to the popular imagination, with most falling into predictable genres (happy endings being the norm), and many actors making careers out of playing strongly typed parts. In the words of one critic, "If an Egyptian film intended for popular audiences lacked any of these prerequisites, it constituted a betrayal of the unwritten contract with the spectator, the results of which would manifest themselves in the box office."[2]

Political changes in Egypt after the overthrow of King Farouk in 1952 initially had little effect on Egyptian film. The Nasser regime sought control over the industry only after turning to socialism in 1961.[4] By 1966, the Egyptian film industry had been nationalized; in the words of Ahmed Ramzi, a leading man of the era, "it went to the dogs".[5] The "heavy government hand" that accompanied nationalization of Egyptian film "stifled innovative trends and sapped its dynamism".[4]

By the 1970s, Egyptian films struck a balance between politics and entertainment. Films such as 1972's Khalli Balak min Zouzou (Watch out for Zouzou), starring "the Cinderella of Arab cinema", Suad Husni, sought to balance politics and audience appeal. Zouzou integrated music, dance, and contemporary fashions into a story that balanced campus ferment with family melodrama.[6]

The late 1970s and 1980s saw the Egyptian film industry in decline, with the rise of what came to be called "contractor movies". Actor Khaled El Sawy has described these as films "where there is no story, no acting and no production quality of any kind... basic formula movies that aimed at making a quick buck." The number of films produced also declined, from nearly 100 movies a year in the industry's prime to about a dozen in 1995.[7]

It was only until 1997 summer , when "Ismailia Rayeh Gayy" (translation :Ismailia back and forth).The comedy shocked the cinema industry enjoying unparalleled success and providing large profits for the producers , introducing Mohammed Fouad (a famous singer) and Mohammed Henedy a rather unknown actor who then became the number one comedian star.Building on the success of that movie , several Comedy films were released in the following years


Since the 1990s, Egypt's cinema has gone in separate directions. Smaller art films attract some international attention but sparse attendance at home. Popular films, often broad comedies such as the extremely profitable vehicles for comedian Mohamed Saad, battle to hold audiences either drawn to Western films or, increasingly, wary of the perceived immorality of film.[4]

A few productions, such as 2003's Sahar El Layali (Sleepless Nights), intertwined stories of four bourgeois couples and 2006's Imarat Yacoubian (The Yacoubian Building) bridge this divide through their combination of high artistic quality and popular appeal.

In 2006, the film Awkat Faragh (Free Times) was released. A social commentary on the decline of the youth in Egypt, the film was produced on a low-budget and with the attendant low production values. The film, however, became a success. Its controversial subject matter, namely, the sexual undertones in today's society, was seen as a confirmation that the industry was finally beginning to take risks.

A major challenge facing Egyptian and international scholars, students, and fans of Egyptian film is the lack of resources in terms of published works, preserved and available copies of the films themselves, and development in Egypt of state and private institutions dedicated to the study and preservation of film. The Egyptian National Film Centre (ENFC), which theoretically holds copies of all films made after 1961, according to one Egyptian film researcher, "far from being a library, houses piles of rusty cans containing positive copies."[8]

The year 2007, however, saw a considerable spike in the number of Egyptian movies made. In 1997, the number of Egyptian feature-length films created was 16; 10 years later, that number had risen to 40. Box office records have also risen significantly, as Egyptian movies earned around $50 million while American movies, by comparison, earned $10 million. The quality of movies has also improved both in terms of direction and plot.

Notable films

Transliteration Year Arabic Translation Director
* [1] Abi foq al-Shagara (1969) ابي فوق الشجرة My Father Is on the Tree Hussein Kamal
* [2] Afarit el-asphalt (1996) عفاريت الاسفلت The Asphalt boogymen Oussama Fawzi
* [3] Afrita hanem (1949) عفريتة هانم Lady Genie Henry Barakat
* [4] Ali Baba wa Al arbain haramee (1942) علي بابا والاربعين حرامي Ali Baba and The Forty Thieves Togo Mizrahi
* [5] Arak el-balah (1998) عرق البلح Date Wine Radwan El-Kashef
* [6] Ard El-Khof (1999) ارض الخوف The Land Of Fear Daoud Abdel Sayed
* [7] Ard, El (1969) الارض The Land Youssef Chahine
*[8] Asfour, Al (1972) العصفور The Sparrow Youssef Chahine
* [9] Awdat al ibn al dal (1976) عودة الابن الضال The Return of the Prodigal Son Youssef Chahine
* [10] Awlad Masr (1933) أولاد مصر Sons of Egypt Togo Mizrahi
* [11] Ayam El-Sadat (2001) أيام السادات The Days of Sadat Mohamed Khan
* [12] Ayde Al-Na'ema, El (1963) الأيدي الناعمة The Soft Hands Mahmoud Zulfikar
* [13] Azima, El (1939) العزيمة The Will Kamal Selim
* [14] Bab el shams (2004) باب الشمس The Gate of Sun Yousry Nasrallah
Bab El-Hadid (1958) باب الحديد Cairo Station
Baheb el cima (2004) بحب السيما I Love Cinema
Bahths an Al-Sayyid Marzuq, Al (1990) البحث عن السيد مرزوق The Search for Sayed Marzouk
Baree', El (1988) البرئ The Innocent
Barsoum Yabhas Aen Wazifa (1923) برسوم يبحث عن وظيفة Barsoum Looking for a Job
Bidaya wa Nihaya (1960) بداية ونهاية A Beginning and an End
Boustaguy, Al (1968) البوسطجي The Postman
Darb al-mahabil (1955) درب المهابيل The Path of Mahabil
Doaa Al-Karawan (1959) دعاء الكروان The Nightingale’s prayer
Eisharit morour (1995) إشارة مـرور Traffic Light
Fi bilad Tout Ankh Amoun (1923) في بلاد توت عنخ أمون In the Land of Tutankhamun
Gannat al shayateen (1999) جنة الشياطين The Paradise of the Fallen Angels
* [15] Genenet al asmak (2008) جنينة الاسماك The Aquarium Yousry Nasrallah
Gezeera, El (2007) الجزيرة The Island
Ghazal Al-Banat (1949) غزل البنات The Flirtation of Girls
Hadduta misrija (1982) حدوتة مصرية Egyptian Story
Halim (2006) حليم Halim
Hammam al-Malatily (1973) حمام الملاطيلي The Bathhouse of Malatily
Haram, Al (1965) الحرام The Sin
Hassan wa Mar'ous (2009) حسن ومرقص Hassan & Marcus
Haya aw Maut (1954) حياة او موت Life or Death
Heya fawda (2007) هي فوضة This Is Chaos
Ikhtiyar, Al (1970) الإختيار The choice
Irhab wal kabab, Al (1992) الإرهاب والكباب Terrorism and the Kebab
Iskanderija, kaman oue kaman (1990) الاسكندرية كمان وكمان Alexandria Again and Forever
Iskanderija... lih? (1978) الإسكندرية... ليه؟ Alexandria... Why?
Karnak, Al (1975) الكرنك Karnak
Kit Kat, El (1991) الكيت كات The Kit Kat
Laabet el sitt (1946) لعبة الست The Lady's Puppet
Laila (1927) ليلى Laila
Malak al-Rahma (1946) ملاك الرحمة Angel of Mercy
* [16] Marcides (1993) مرسيدس mercedes Yousry Nasrallah
* [17] Medina, El (1999) المدينة The City Yousry Nasrallah
Mummia, Al (1975) المومياء The Mummy
Mustahil, El (1966) المستحيل The Impossible
Nasser Salah El-Din, El (1963) الناصر صلاح الدين Saladin The Victorious
Omaret yakobean (2006) عمارة يعقوبيان Yaaqubian building
Rossassa Fel Qalb (1944) رصاصة في القلب A Bullet in the Heart
Rudda kalbi (1958) رُدَّ قلبي Return My Heart Back
Salama fi khair (1938) سلامة في خير Salama Is Fine
Salamah (1945) سلامة Salamah
* [18] Sarikat Sayfeya (1988) سرقات صيفية Summertime thefts Yousry Nasrallah
Sawaq El-Autobis (1983) سواق الأوتوبيس The Bus Driver
Shahazon wa Nobalaa’ (1991) شحاذون ونبلاء Beggars and Noblemen
Shey min el khouf (1969) شئ من الخوف Some of the Fear
Sira' al-abtal (1962) صراع الأبطال Struggle of the Heroes
* [19] Sobyan wa banat (1995) صبيان وبنات Boys and Girls Yousry Nasrallah
Suq al-Soda, Al (1945) السوق السودا Black Market
Tareeq Ela Eilat, El (1998) الطريق إلى إيلات The Road To Eilat
* [20] Tharthara Fawq Al Neel (1971) ثرثرة فوق النيل Adrift on the Nile Hussein Kamal
Tooq wal Eswera, El (1986) الطوق والاسورة The Collar and the Bracelet
* [21] Toul Omry (2008) طول عمري All My Life Maher Sabry
* [22] Weda'an Bonapart (1985) وداعًا بوناپارت Adieu Bonaparte Youssef Chahine
* [23] Yateematain, Al (1949) اليتيماتان The Two Orphans Hassan Al Imam
* [24] Yawm al-Sadis, Al (1986) اليوم السادس The Sixth Day Youssef Chahine
* [25] Yawm Saeed (1940) يوم سعيد Happy Day Mohammed Karim
* [26] Yom mor... Yom helw (1988) يوم مر .. يوم حلو Sweet Day, Bitter Day Khairy Beshara
* [27] Zawgat Ragol Mohim (1988) زوجة رجل مهم The Wife of an Important Man Mohamed Khan
* [28] Zeinab (1925) زينب Zeinab Mohammed Karim
* [29] Zeinab (1950) زينب Zeinab Mohammed Karim
Zouga El tania, El (1967) الزوجة التانية The Second Wife

Notable directors

Notable directors of photography

  • Abdel Aziz fahmy
  • Mohsen Ahmed
  • Mohamad Sabry
  • Ramses Marzouk
  • Saeed El-Shimy
  • Tarek El-Telmissany

Notable actors

West Asian cinema
Iranian New Wave
African cinema

Notable Film Critics

  • Ahmed EL Hadary
  • Essam Zakareyya
  • Kamal Ramzy
  • Samir Farid

See also

In the Press

The best of Egyptian cinema , the best 15 best Egyptian films of all time


  1. ^ Cairo Film Festival information.
  2. ^ a b Farid, Samir, "Lights, camera...retrospection", Al-Ahram Weekly, December 30, 1999
  3. ^ Darwish, Mustafa, Dream Makers on the Nile: A Portrait of Egyptian Cinema, The American University in Cairo Press, Cairo, 1998, Pp. 12-13.
  4. ^ a b c Farid, Samir, "An Egyptian Story", Al-Ahram Weekly, November 23-29, 2006
  5. ^ Khairy, Khaireya, "Ahmed Ramzi: rendevous at the snooker club", Al-Ahram Weekly, June 22, 2000
  6. ^ Anis, Mouna, "Before the public gaze", Al-Ahram Weekly, June 28, 2001
  7. ^ El Bakry, Rehab, "Reeling them in", Business Monthly, July 2006
  8. ^ El-Assyouti, Mohamed, "Forgotten memories",Al-Ahram Weekly, September 2, 1999

External links


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