Celebrating Youssef Chahine: An Egyptian Story

Monday 8 July, 6:15 pm

Picturehouse at FACT


Arabic with English subtitles

Running time 115 minutes followed by a post-screening discussion

LAAF plays host to three UK premieres from 20 newly remastered jewels by Youssef Chahine. These three films, which were remastered in 2018 to mark the tenth anniversary of Chahine’s death, are a semi-autobiographical series critics have dubbed “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” and are widely regarded as his best works.

Chahine was a pioneer of film-making in Egypt and the Middle East, and these films marked a sharp departure from both his earlier musicals and melodramas and later epics and political works.

The sequel to Alexandria… Why? covers the beginning of Chahine’s career up to his open-heart surgery in 1973. Chahine plays his alter ego Yehia, who gains international fame in Europe only to discover that, as in Egypt, film is as much commerce as it is art.

The film features extraordinary and eccentric scenes, one in which Yehia travels to London for heart surgery and becomes infatuated with a male cab driver and another in which he imagines himself forced to justify his life and work before a tribunal inside his chest, in which his accuser is his child-self.

Presented in partnership with Misr Film International.

For guidance we recommend a minimum age of 12.

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