Sunday, July 27, 2008

Youssef Chahine 1926-2008

The legendary filmmaker and doyen of Arab cinema, Youssef Chahine died today, after having lapsed into a coma on June 14th, after suffering a brain haemorrage. He was taken to the American hospital in Neuilly outside of Paris. He was flown back to Egypt on July 16th , and warded at the Maádi military hospital in Cairo when he passed away this morning.

Chahine´s career in filmaking began in 1950 with Baba Amin , after returning from studying film in Pasadena California. He´s first international success came in 1951 with Ibn al Nil(Son of the Nile), which contested at the Cannes film festival, it was the beginning of a mutual love story between Chahine and the Cannes Festival, crowned when he recieved the Cannes Lifetime achievement award in 1997. He´s first international award came with Bab al Hadid(The Train Station) in 1958 at the Berlin film festival were he was awarded the golden bear. He´s last film came had it´s Egyptian premiere last year - Heya Fawda(Chaos). He was the Ingemar Bergman of Arab film.

Chahine´s filmatization of Abd al Rahman´s classic novel al Ard(The Earth)1969 and his very own Alexandria Quartet, a autobiographical chronicle about his beloved home city and equally his love story with American Film of the 1940´s, beginning with Iskanderiya leh? 1978(Alexandria Why?), Haduta Masriyya 1982(An Egyptian Story) Iskaneriya Kaman wa kaman 1989(Alexandria , Again and Forever) and ending with Iskanderiya-New York(Alexandria-New York) is also among his most important work.

He also played an instrumental part in the career´s of Egyptian movie icons, and love birds Omar Sharif and Faten Hamema.

He was an inspiration to me, and one of my proudest moments as a blogger was when my article on Chahine was posted on his official website.

My condolencces to his family. May God rest his soul.

More on this later

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Anonymous Sam Berner said...

Giants are falling like grand all trees, and I can't see any new saplings.

12:54 PM  

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