02 February 2010

classic egyptian cinema

Chéri je t'aime, chéri je t'adore...
Do you enjoy this as much as I do?? Many of my Egyptian friends have always argued that the films that were made in Cairo in the 40s, 50s, and 60s are equal to, if not better than most of the films coming out of Hollywood at the time. How true this is, well - that's a matter of a very biased opinion (of course).

This is from a film called "Il Hob Kida" ("Such is Love"), 1961. The song, "Bahebak ya Moustafa" ("I Love You, Moustafa") speaks for itself in both French and Arabic:

Oh the franco-egyptian glamour!!  The first time I saw "Chit-Chat on the Nile" (the 60s film portraying the "decadence of the Nasr period" and based on a book by Naguib Mahfouz) with a friend, I was literally shocked to see Egyptians smoking hash, having illicit rendez-vous on a houseboat, driving around drunk, and all on screen!  The Cairo cinema today is laughable if not propagandistic for an oppressive government. So these little clips of celebrations, giving us a hint of the glamour of a different world, are like silly gems at the bottom of a very polluted Nile.
Chéri je t'aime, chéri je t'adore...

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