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Creativity has indeed lost one of its greatest champions. Youssef Chahine passed away on 27-07-08 in his home in Cairo.

The whole world mourned the death of this great filmmaker. Chahine always managed to move and provoke. Although some of his films are still bannned in the Arab world, they have been appreciated by non Arab audiences as important contributions to cinema.

The reaction to his death in Egypt has been that of genuine sadness at the loss of one of Egypt’s most important figures. However, the news coverage by Arab media, and the Egyptian “media” in particular, has been disgusting and disappointing. As the news of his death broke, the Egyptian channel failed to interrupt its ridicuilous vomit inducing makeover show. Instead, we had to endure the usual tedious irrelevence, much like the rest of the Egyptian channel’s content, to see if after the pathetic caller’s eyeshadow dilemnas are solved we would actually be given more information on his death, or, god forbid, actually watch one of his films! Naturally, nothing happened and stupidity ensued. This said a lot about the state of Egypt, just as he had in all of his films. Chahine was one of my heroes, and i don’t have many.

January 25 1926 – July 27 2008

Egyptian director Youssef Chahine is one of the greatest filmmakers in the history of cinema.

To me he represents true art. Creativity. He had vision and brought it to life in a series of fantastic, thought provoking and unique films. He’s one of my all time favourite directors, hearing that he’s currently in a coma has left me speechless.

Filmography:

  • Baba Amin (Papa Amin)- 1950 بابا أمين
  • El mohareg el kebyr (The Big Clown) – المهرج الكبير
  • Enta habyby (You’re My Love) – إنت حبيبى
  • Ibn al-Nil (Nile Boy) – 1951 إبن النيل
  • Sira` Fi al-Wadi (The Blazing Sun, Mortal Revenge, Struggle in the Valley)- 1954 صراع فى الوادى
  • Sira` fi el-Minaa (Dark Waters, Struggle in the Port)- 1956 صراع فى الميناء
  • Salwa al fatah al saghyra allaty tokalem el abkar (Salwa the little girl who talks to cows) – سلوى الفتاة الصغيرة التى تكلم الأبقار
  • Bab al-Hadid (Cairo Station or Cairo Main Station)- 1958 باب الحديد
  • Djamila Buhraid- 1958 جميلة بوحريد
  • Al Nasser Salah Ad-Din (The Victorious Saladin) – 1963 الناصر صلاح الدين
  • Fagr youm gedyd (Dawn of a New Day) – 1964 فجر يوم جديد
  • ‘Biyaa El Khawatem’” (The Ring Salesman) produced in 1965 (based on the musical of 1964) بياع الخواتم
  • Al-Ard (The Land)- 1969 الأرض
  • El Asfur (The Bird) – العصفور
  • Al-Ekhtyiar (the Choice) – الإختيار
  • Awdet el ebn el dal(Return of The Prodigal Son) – 1976 عودة الإبن الضال
  • Iskandariyah… leih? (Alexandria… Why?)- 1978 إسكندرية… ليه؟
  • Hadduta Misriyah (An Egyptian Tale)- 1982 حدوتة مصرية
  • Wadaan Bonabart (Adieu Bonaparte) – 1985 وداعا بونابرت
  • al-Yawm al-Sadis (The Sixth Day) – 1987 اليوم السادس
  • Iskandariyah Kaman wa Kaman (Alexandria Again and Again)- 1990 إسكندرية كمان وكمان
  • El kahera menawara be 2ahlaha – القاهرة منورة بأهلها
  • Al-Mohagir (The Emigrant)- 1994المهاجر
  • Al-Massir (The Destiny) – 1997 المصير
  • Al-Akhar (The Other) الآخر
  • Sokoot Hansawwar (Silence, We’re Rolling) سكوت ح نصور
  • Iskandariyah-New York (Alexandria-New York) إسكندرية-نيويورك
  • Heya Fawda (This Is Chaos) – 2007 هي فوضى (premiere at the Venice Film Festival)
  •  “I make my films first for myself. Then for my family. Then for Alexandria. Then for Egypt. And if the Arab world likes them, ahlan wa sahlan [welcome]. And if the foreign audience likes them–they are doubly welcome.”

    Please get better.