الاثنين، 1 يناير 2007
l'immeuble yacoubian - documenting society transformations
For those of us who crossed the 40 years old mark in their lives like myself, we see the gradual transformations happening in the society from a different perspective than that of most of the Egyptian blogging community who are probably half that age on average. The Egypt we lived in, during the tolerant, liberal, era and open society of the sixties and seventies, with all the slogans of Arabism, and Socialism, had a strong national identity, with giant symbols such as artists Abdel-Halim Hafez, Om Kolthoum, and Abdel-Wahab, writers such as Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfouz, Ihsan Abdel-Qodous and other giants in all fields; Engineering, Architecture, Medicine, etc...
These transformations were never presented on the screen as good as they were
in the movie l'Immeuble Yacoubian based on a novel by the same name written by the rising star Dr. Alaa El-Aswani. The novel and the movie presented the changes in the building as a metaphore for changes in Egypt as a whole.
I am not a qualified critique, but, as an Egyptian citizen who lived through some of the transformations that happened in the society during the last 40 years, I can judge it to be a fine production! the story is great, the performance is outstanding in Egyptian standards, the scene of the assasination of the National Security officer is as real as it gets, the role of gay the newspaper editor played by Khalid El-Sawi is excellent, Mohamed Imam, Hind Sabri, Somaya El-Khashab, the Sai'idi police conscript (Abdel-Nabi), the corrupted politician (Kamal), and of course Adel-Imam, Nour El-Sherif, Ahmed Bedeir, Dawoud, Ahmed Rateb, Isa'ad Younis, all the actors old and young were perfect!
I couldn't prevent my tears in the scene where Adil Imam is drunk, walking downtown during the early morning hours with Hind Sabri, and complaining that everything nice in Egypt has been disfigured, and summarizing what my generation feels about what happened to the country especially in the last 20 years.
I have seen this movie twice in the theaters while I was in Egypt last summer, and during Eid El-Fetr two months ago. On both occasions, there were no places in the theatre. It turned out to be a hit. I didn't have time to attend it once more. A friend of mine passed me a bootlegged copy, but the quality is awful, besides being immoral! I would wait for the VCD copy to purchase it.
What prompted me to post this blog is a review I came accross on arabvoice.com Here.