Celebrating Youssef Chahine: Alexandria… Why?

Sunday 7 July, 3:00 pm

Picturehouse at FACT


Arabic with English subtitles

Running time 133 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 first of the series, Alexandria… Why? focuses on a precocious adolescent whose dreams and colourful attempts to become an actor unfold against the vivid backdrop of Alexandria during World War II, delivering a potently subversive and impassioned anti-war message. At turns hilarious and touching, the autobiographical nature and nostalgic flavour of the film make it one of Chahine’s most accessible works.

Presented in partnership with Misr Film International.

For guidance we recommend a minimum age of 12.

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