Youssef Chahine re­turns to Cannes with screen­ing of El-Mas­sir

Late Egyptian di­rec­tor was awarded Cannes Film Fes­ti­val’s 50th an­niver­sary Life­time Achieve­ment Award in 1997

The Daily News Egypt - - News -

The clas­sics sec­tion of the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val will screen the master­piece of Egyptian di­rec­tor Youssef Chahine, El-Mas­sir, next month.

Chahine is well-known world­wide, and in 1997 was awarded the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val’s 50th an­niver­sary Life­time Achieve­ment Award. El-Mas­sir will be screened at the Cinéma de la Plage (Movies on the Beach).

Chahine made his di­rec­to­rial de­but at age 24 with “Baba Amin” (Fa­ther Amin) in 1950.The cul­tural changes in­sti­gated by the 1952 revo­lu­tion al­lowed Chahine to break away from main­stream cin­ema. His in­ter­na­tional break­through came in 1958 with “Bab El-Ha­did” (Cairo Sta­tion).

Widely re­garded as one of the great­est ac­com­plish­ments in Egyptian film his­tory, the gritty so­cial drama chron­i­cles the psy­cho­log­i­cal break­down of an alien­ated, im­pov­er­ished, and sex­u­ally re­pressed news­pa­per ven­dor. Bab El-Ha­did was one of the first lo­cal films to ex­plore the strug­gle of Egyptian in­di­vid­u­al­ism against so­ci­ety and the con­tra­dic­tory re­la­tion­ship that gov­erns their in­ter­ac­tions.

In 1963, Chahine re­leased Sal­adin, a his­tor­i­cal epic about reli­gious tol­er­ance and Arab unity. The film was also a sub­tle dec­la­ra­tion of Chahine’s com­mit­ment to and sup­port for Ga­mal Ab­del Nasser and the 1952 revo­lu­tion. Chahine con­tin­ued to ex­plore those themes in his next two films, “Fagr Yom Ge­did” (Dawn of a New Day, 1964) and “Al Nass wal Nil” (Peo­ple and the Nile, 1968).

Di­rect­ing over 40 films and doc­u­men­taries in his life­time, Chahine left be­hind a stag­ger­ing body of work and a legacy that con­tin­ues to in­spire the de­vel­op­ment of Egyptian cin­ema and cul­ture.

For over 50 years, Chahine fear­lessly cap­tured the gru­elling re­al­i­ties of Egyptian so­ci­ety in his work, ad­dress­ing highly con­tro­ver­sial so­cio­cul­tural is­sues con­cern­ing sex­ual re­pres­sion, in­di­vid­u­al­ism, reli­gious tol­er­ance, and po­lit­i­cal cor­rup­tion.

Famed Egyptian di­rec­tor Youssef Chahine

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