In memory of her recent passing, and in celebration of her cinematic legacy, Zawya is screening a selection of films starring Egypt's beloved actress Faten Hamama.
The films, showing at the downtown art house cinema between 19 and 23 February, are: The Open Door, Amin, My Father, Struggle in The Pier, Empire M and The Nightingale's Prayer.
The Open Door (1964) – based on the novel by Latifa Al-Zayyat and directed by Henri Barakat – linked women's freedom and empowerment with that of all Egyptian citizens in pre- and post-colonial Egypt.
The film follows the struggles of Layla, played by Faten Hamama, as she tries to break free from the social constraints she faces as a woman, culminating with her joining the political resistance during the Suez Crisis in 1956.
Amin, My Father, directed by Youssef Chahine, follows Amin's imagination as he fast-forwards to his death. In this fictitious world, he takes a sneak peak at the well-being of his family after he decides he wants to acquire wealth rapidly.
Father Amin (1950) stars Hussein Riad, Kama El-Shinnawy and Marie Mounib alongside Hamama.
Meanwhile, in Chahine's Struggle in The Pier (1956) Hamama stars alongside renowned actor and her ex-husband Omar Sharif, one among their many collaborations on screen.
When Ragab, a young fisherman, returns to his hometown after a three year hiatus of raising money for Hemeida's dowry, he suspects an affair between Hemeida and his old friend Mamdouh. He also witnesses a feud between a corporate transportation company and its workers. Ragab becomes an observer who watches the secrets of his community as they begin to unravel.
Empire M (1974) is a light drama the follows the family of Mona, a woman who takes charge both at the workplace and at home, marking her position in a changing Egyptian society.
The script, littered with wit and sharp social commentary, is written by two literary giants: Ihsan Abdel-Koudous and Naguib Mahfouz. Empire M is directed by Hussein Kamel.
The Nightingale's Prayer (1959) is another collaboration between Barakat and Hamama, a film that is widely celebrated. This time, Barakat brings Taha Hussein's novel to the screen, drawing the spotlight on society's expectations of both men and women, how expectations differ according to gender and how far people may go to maintain them.
The film is set in Egypt's countryside and stars Ahmed Mazhar, Amina Rezk and Zahret El-Ola.
Amin, My Father — Thursday, 19 February
Struggle in the Pier — Friday, 20 February
Prayer of the Nightingale — Saturday, 21 February
The Open Door — Sunday, 22 February
Empire M — Monday, 23 February
All screenings start at 6:30pm at Zawya
Odeon Cinema, 4 Abdel-Hamid Said St., off Talaat Harb St.
This entry was updated after Zawya announced changes to the original program.