Youssef Chahine alias yousef shaheen – Egypt (1926 – 2008)

Linked with The Patriarchal See of Alexandria, and with Youssef Chahine, the life-world of film.

Youssef Chahine ( January 25, 1926–July 27, 2008) was an Egyptian film director active in the Egyptian film industry since 1950. He was credited with launching the career of actor Omar Sharif. A critically acclaimed director frequently seen in film festivals during decades, Chahine also had his reach to wider international filmgoers’ audiences as one of the co-directors of 11′9″01 September 11 … (full text).

… Youssef Chahine has won many awards for his movies, including a lifetime achievement award on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival. He is a loved, well-known and respected film director around the world. A lot of actors in the world wish to work with him. I hope to follow in his footsteps in the future. (full text).

… Chahine’s work is rooted in the rich traditions of popular Arabic culture … (full text, 10 décembre 2007).

Adieu Chahine – Creativity has indeed lost one of its greatest champions. Youssef Chahine passed away on 27-07-08 in his home in Cairo … (full long text with photos and poems in arabic and in english, August 2, 2008) … Yousuf Shaheen’s funeral takes place in Cairo … on Global Voices … Youssef Chahine: an appreciation.

YOUSSEF CHAHINE, director of some 40 films, is probably the most independent of Arab film-makers, producing what he thinks is important, even at his own expense, and raising issues that disturb … (full text, 01 August, 2003).

Welcome page of his official website.

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Youssef Chahine alias yousef shaheen – Egypt (1926 -2008)

Watch these videos in arabic:

Grande figure des cinématographies arabes, Youssef Chahine a subi le sort de nombre de grands auteurs des cinémas du Sud : la reconnaissance internationale et la marginalisation dans son pays. Mais par l’énergie de sa veine populaire, son impertinence et son refus de l’intégrisme, il a su incarner la voix d’un cosmopolitisme engagé, agissant comme la conscience de ces cinématographies … (longue Bio en francais).

Youssef Chahine, le cinéaste Egyptien, hospitalisé, 17/06/2008.

Addio a Youssef Chahine, il maestro del cinema egiziano, Lug 27, 2008.

Find him and his publications - as Youssef Chahine - on amazon with DVDs; on IMDb; on his website /films; on Middle East Times; on TypecastFilms.com; on Alex Cinema; on Film Reference.com; on Movie Industry today; on wikipedia /filmography; on Google Video-search; = Youssef Chahine); on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

And find him and his publications – as yousef shaheen – on arab film posters; on technorati (with many mouvies); on yahoo movies; on Google Video-search; on YouTube.com; on Google Book-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

He said: … ‘Our Leaders are Ignorant and Corrupt, and Continue to Embarrass Us’. “There are supposed to be among us many who are expert and talented, whose role is to think, because our leaders are ignorant and corrupt, and continue to embarrass us inconceivably – except that they have strangled our freedom. We have reached a situation where an Egyptian strikes an Egyptian and an Arab strikes an Arab. At the beginning of the Kuwait war [i.e., the first Gulf War], Bush Sr. asked us to send 50,000 men [to fight against the Iraqi army], and we sent them. I personally knew that half the Iraqi army was Egyptians, because I used to go to Iraq” … (full interview text, June 16, 2004).

… THIS IS CHAOS (2007): Chahine’s last film was co-directed by Khaled Youssef, as Chahine’s failing health prevented him from making the greater part of the film. Yet because of the film’s sensitive subject matter of police brutality in contemporary Egypt, it was a laudable act of Chahine’s in insisting that his name appear on the film in addition to that of Youssef, since this gave the film, and its main director, some measure of protection. This is Chaos was the last film by Chahine to be shown at international festivals, and it was screened last year at the Venice Film Festival. (full text, 31 July – 6 August 2008).

He says also (about the films The Great Clown/El mouharrig el kabîr and The Lady of the Train/Sayyidet el qitâr): … “Undoubtedly, the defeat of 1967 contributed strongly to my awareness of the artist’s responsibility toward society. Yet, to be honest, already after the revolution in 1952 I became aware of that responsibility – though in an abstract and diffuse way – when I found myself given a choice between participating in the events of reality that surround me or being content to observe them. This was maybe expressed in The Blazing Sun (Sirâ‘ fîl wâdî). After June 5 I started changing: first I moved from bourgeois entertaining cinema by addressing certain topics within that cinema and started then to make films that correspond to society’s needs. You have to produce films that are indispensable. (Farid, 1971, p. 20)” … (full text, not dated).

To use film to broach injustice, racism, class division, and government policy is to court worldwide indifference. By long tradition, Hollywood movies about “social issues” are painfully self-conscious efforts afflicted by excessive sincerity and by that maudlin, choked-up, self-congratulatory, and at the same time above-it-all attitude that Hollywood types assume when they pool their skills with the intent to “give something back.” Just as allergenic for most viewers is the typical mental image of a Third World film: a sleep-inducing mini-melodrama set in some backwater where everyone’s name ends in a vowel and treating some dust-drenched theme like how bad poverty is for children’s moral development. Egyptian director Youssef Chahine single-handedly disproves the stereotypes of political film. He triumphs over all the disadvantages, and uses none of the alibis, of Third World cinema while showing that a director can make personal films on controversial subjects and still reach large audiences. Chahine’s work is well known throughout the Arab world and has long been admired in France. His great Destiny had a limited American run last year. The Museum of Fine Arts is going some way toward remedying America’s otherwise near-total ignorance of this superb director by showing five of his earlier features (a subset of the larger sample of his work that played at Lincoln Center last year) in a series that begins tonight (Thursday) … (full text, December 2 – 9, 1999).

link: Palmarès 2007: Un Lion d’or nommé Désir, le 08/09/2007.

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