Sunday, July 27, 2008

Youssef Chahien left the building

He was not my favourite director nor his films were my favourite but he was an icon that I can't deny
Youssef Chahien ,Egypt last director from the Golden era has passed way. He was 82 years. He suffered long time illness and he never listened to the doctors orders.
Youssef was an old leftist Nasserite director who did not change his beliefs till his death.
His last film "Heya Fawda" or Le Chaos about Egypt and its current situation especially on Police abuse earned him from the regime. It was a political film for a director who loved to mix politics with society with Arts.
I do not agree on the ideas he presents in his films but again I can't deny that he was a director with a vision.
He got two films in the best 15 films in the Egyptian Cinema history as I recall , The land and the Cairo Station.
Chahin by the way was an actor too , crazy one whom you can´t understand due to his fast speaking manner.
He discovered several stars in our cinemas ,above them Omar Al-Sherif, he also discovered Ezzat Al-Alaaly from the 1960s generation and lately he discovered Hany Salama, the famous young star in late 1990s.His student directors are many like for instance Yousry Nasrallah,Asama Bakery and famous/Controversial Khaled Youssef.
My favorite Chahin films are from the 1960s era before he began his autobiography films like "Enta Habiby" {You are my love} , Djamila Buhraid "1958" and Al Nasser Salah El-Din "1963".
Some call late Chahien as the greatest director in the history of Egyptian cinema due to the fact that he was known aboard especially in France "But not in Hollywood" , I disagree , he was not the greatest but he was different with daring visions that broke all the taboos whether religiously or socially.

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