Contact:
1055 Patterson Office Tower
University of Kentucky
Lexington KY 40506-0027
ph: 859-257-3761
fax: 859-257-3743

This was the most successful full-length feature film by Shadi Abdel Salam, who started his career as an assistant to Rossellini and Mankiewicz (on Cleopatra ) and died quite young. Set in Egypt at the end of the 19th century, it tells of a peasant family living off the illegal trade in pharaonic treasures. The theme here is the continuity between ancient and modern Egypt and the importance of preserving pharaonic culture. Abdel Salam, also a great costume and set designer, based everything on meticulous research. Its aesthetic rigour was never again rivalled in Egyptian cinema.

I love musicals, and this one is particularly good as it was written by the great cartoonist, poet and satirist Salah Jaheen. It is a comedy of class conflict – Zouzou (Soad Hosny) comes from Cairo's popular quarters but is attending the liberal world of university. It's a satirical film but sexy and lively. If you watch this, and then visit a Cairo university campus today, with its veiled girls and bearded boys, you will be shocked by how conservative and reactionary Arab urban society has become in the past 40 years.

This, I think, is the first feature film ever made in Kuwait by a Kuwaiti director. Shot in black and white, it evokes the pre-oil days when Kuwait relied almost entirely on the sea, either for trade or for pearl-fishing. Men would go to sea for months, leaving the women, children and elderly to fend for themselves. The sea is the main character here – initially the source of all things beautiful but equally a monster that destroys lives. The film is a Greek tragedy of sorts, and despite its formal simplicity, it is technically ambitious and very beautiful. I also admire the spare acting style.

Contact:
1055 Patterson Office Tower
University of Kentucky
Lexington KY 40506-0027
ph: 859-257-3761
fax: 859-257-3743

Contact:
1055 Patterson Office Tower
University of Kentucky
Lexington KY 40506-0027
ph: 859-257-3761
fax: 859-257-3743

This was the most successful full-length feature film by Shadi Abdel Salam, who started his career as an assistant to Rossellini and Mankiewicz (on Cleopatra ) and died quite young. Set in Egypt at the end of the 19th century, it tells of a peasant family living off the illegal trade in pharaonic treasures. The theme here is the continuity between ancient and modern Egypt and the importance of preserving pharaonic culture. Abdel Salam, also a great costume and set designer, based everything on meticulous research. Its aesthetic rigour was never again rivalled in Egyptian cinema.

I love musicals, and this one is particularly good as it was written by the great cartoonist, poet and satirist Salah Jaheen. It is a comedy of class conflict – Zouzou (Soad Hosny) comes from Cairo's popular quarters but is attending the liberal world of university. It's a satirical film but sexy and lively. If you watch this, and then visit a Cairo university campus today, with its veiled girls and bearded boys, you will be shocked by how conservative and reactionary Arab urban society has become in the past 40 years.

This, I think, is the first feature film ever made in Kuwait by a Kuwaiti director. Shot in black and white, it evokes the pre-oil days when Kuwait relied almost entirely on the sea, either for trade or for pearl-fishing. Men would go to sea for months, leaving the women, children and elderly to fend for themselves. The sea is the main character here – initially the source of all things beautiful but equally a monster that destroys lives. The film is a Greek tragedy of sorts, and despite its formal simplicity, it is technically ambitious and very beautiful. I also admire the spare acting style.

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