Monday, August 22, 2011

RIP Kamal Shennawi “1921-2011”

And another Egyptian cinema legend  Kamal Shennawi passed away earlier this morning.
Kamal Shennawi
Kamal Shennawi was the original “Le Jeune premier” , the man whom all ladies wanted to be with and the man whom all men wanted to be like. Originally a teacher El Shennawi started his career in small role in 1948 to become of the major film stars in Egypt and the Arab world in few roles  thanks to his talent , good looks and light character.
What I liked in Shennawi that he had that diversified portfolio from roles from good guy to bad guy from melodramatic roles to extremely funny roles , from leading roles to small roles.
Of course we can’t ignore that former/ousted president Mubarak appeared in a scene in his  1956 film with Shadia “A Farewell At Dawn”. The film was about a love story between a poor girl and rich air forces officer. The film was shot at the air forces academy already. A little trivial info : The film was produced by El Shennawi and directed by Hassan El Emam. You can see the historical clip after the break.
A farewell at Dawn : Mubarak as an extra
A farwall in Dune
The film which was famous for Shadia cheerful love songs reached to cult status when it was banned by Mubarak during his era ,I have always known that Mubarak appeared in Shadia/Kamal El Shennawi musical romantic film but I did not see it except on cable networks like ART even without Mubarak’s scene. Thankfully Rotana aired the film without editing and now we saw our former/ousted president in an extra role. I love this song from the film “Search for it”
A farewell at the dawn : Shadia sings
Shadia and Kamal 
Of course the urban myth says that Kimo married Shadia in 1950s which is untrue. Kamal El Shennawi actually married her sister Afaf for several years and they have been best friends since then especially that Shadia was the aunt of his late eldest son Mohamed. The health of El Shennawi went down the slope after the death of his eldest son Mohamed.
Speaking about political films El Shennawi accepted to play the role of Khaled Safwan in 1975 El Karnak which is based on Naguib Mahfouz. I do not think anyone could easily play the role of that bastard from hell , that state security officer who tortures political intimates and supervises the rape of a girl in his office. Safwan was a symbol to notorious Salah Nasr , former spy chief during the Nassirte era.
As 1980s/1990s generation I remember his role in Hend and Dr. Noman. I love his roles with Shadia especially in comedies as all Egyptians , who hate that duo except Mubarak !! And I can’t speak about these two without remembering them singing this song.
Shadia and Kamal Shennawi sing together
Strangely the last role El Shennawi presented was in 2006 in political comedy “Zaza ,a president” where he presented the role of an old sick president in dysfunctional country.
May Allah bless your soul Kamal El Shennawi as your entertain us all those years “about 62 years and not less 200 films”

1 comment:

  1. He was a painting teacher and an avid painter as well.


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