Netflix has announced release of four films from director Youssef Chahine 1926-2008 on Wednesday adding to the previously released movies by Egypt's famed director.
The films are Siraa Fil-Wadi (Struggle in the Valley also known as The Blazing Sun, 1954), Alexandria ... Why? (Iskandereya ... Leih?, 1979), Alexandria Again and Again (Iskandereya, kaman w kaman, 1989), and The Emigrant (Al-Mohager, 1994).
The Blazing Sun stars Faten Hamamah and Omar Sharif in the latter's screen debut.
Starring Naglaa Fathi, Ahmed Zaki, Farid Shawqi, the film Alexandria ... Why? is the first part of Chahine's autobiography transferred to the silver screen. The trilogy includes also An Egyptian Story (Haddouta Misriyya, 1982), and Alexandria Again and Again, covering a 35-year period.
The biblical tale of Joseph is told from an Egyptian perspective in The Emigrant, which won Best Actor (Khaled Nabawy) and Best Cinematography (Ramses Marzouk) at the All African Film Awards (1995), as well as Best Director and Best Cinematography at the Cairo National Festival for Egyptian Cinema (1995). The film stars Youssra, Khaled Nabawy, and Mahmood Hemaidah.
The four titles add to Chahine's repertoire on Netflix which includes a number of his movies which release began in January this year: Dark Waters (Siraa Fil-Mina, 1956), Saladin (El Naser Salah El Dine, 1963), The Land (Al-Ard, 1970), The Return of the Prodigal Son (1976), An Egyptian Story (Hadduta Masreya, 1983) and Destiny (Al-Massir, 1997).
Youssef Chahine (Photo: Al Ahram)
The most celebrated filmmaker of the Middle East, Chahine created films that participated in and won awards in the biggest international film festivals, including Cannes, Venice and Berlin.
Chahine's film Cairo Station was the first Arab and the first African film to be submitted for consideration for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film (1958).
Three more of his films were submitted for Oscars consideration: Alexandria ... Why? (1979), Alexandria Again and Forever (1990) and Destiny (1997).
In 1979, Chahine won a Silver Bear for Alexandria … Why? at the Berlinale, while five of his films were nominated for the Cannes Palme d’Or.
In 1997, Chahine was presented with the Cannes Festival’s 50th Anniversary Prize for lifetime achievement.
In 2007, Chahine was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Dubai International Film Festival.
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