Tue, July 28, 2009 7:00 pm at Tribeca Cinemas
Alwan for the Arts and 3rd i NY Collaborative Monthly Film Series present
Chaos (Heya Fawda ) Directed by Youssef Chahine.
With Khaled Saleh, Mena Shalaby, Hala Sedky
Egypt/France 2008, 35mm, color, 122 min. Arabic with English subtitles
Tickets $10: http://www.tribecacinemas.com/TC_Pop_Up/
In his last film, completed with the help of longtime collaborator Khaled Youssef, Chahine concocts a tasty melodrama, with plenty of political bite, out of a tale about a crusading public prosecutor taking on a corrupt and sadistic police chief in contemporary Cairo. Set in the cosmopolitan neighborhood of Choubra, known for the diversity of its residents, Chaos reveals the area to be a powder keg thanks to social and economic conditions that deteriorate while the elite look the other way. In distinct Chahine manner, the narrative and political commentary is overlaid with a love triangle that hightens the dramatic effects.
TRAILER (with French subtitles): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D031mzwuZnE
The recent death of Egyptian director Youssef Chahine (1926-2008) brought to a close an extraordinary and often controversial career extending over six decades and including thirty-seven feature films. Born in Alexandria, Chahine’s life and work exemplify the qualities most associated with the historic port city, including its reputation as a crossroads of the world and repository of culture from different civilizations. The cosmopolitanism that helped Chahine achieve international fame is also reflected in the tone and structure of his films, which vary from polished variations of typical Egyptian genre films to politically engaged and formally adventurous art cinema, in line with the various film movements and “new waves” around the world. Chahine’s films are also grounded by their “Cairo side,” in touch with the city that is the site of the Egyptian film industry, an industry that dominated Arab film with its populist blend of music and melodrama. While addressing the complexities of Egyptian social and political life, Chahine’s films retain the appeal and energy of mainstream genre cinema. Their combination of popular culture and artistic sophistication give them a certain ambiguity, as well as a rare exuberance and eclecticism.
Chahine’s fervent iconoclasm earned him enmity from many sides: from government officials worried that he presented the region in a bad light, from fundamentalists railing against the sexual sophistication of his films and their constant attention to male and female beauty, and from ideologues of all stripes dissatisfied by the director’s inclusionary insistence on the value of the different and the diverse. Chahine’s brilliance at blending convention and innovation in his portraits of Egyptian life may unsettle those with fixed ideas about the Arab world—or about the distinction between popular and art film—but they continue to fascinate and delight anyone with an open mind and a true love of cinema.
54 Varick St. at Canal
New York , NY 10013
Trains: A/C/E or 1 to Canal
Tickets: $10 (A $2.00 p/ticket fee will be applied to all purchases)
3rd i NY & Alwan Collaborative Monthly Screening Series are made possible in part through support from The Fund for Creative Creative Communities administered through the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
Last updated: 2009-09-29 10:56:39
54 Varick St. at Canal
A/C/E/1 Trains to Canal Street
New York, NY 10013
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