Egyptian filmmaker commemorated in Namibia

20 January 2020 | Art and Entertainment

As part of the continent wide initiative by the Luxor African Film Festival and Misr Films, Independence Avenue Films (Windhoek, Namibia) commemorates a pioneer African filmmaking Youssef Chahine.
On Saturday (25 January 2020), Independence Avenue Films features films by Chahine, screened in partnership with the Namibia Arts Association Trust and Turipamwe Design. With these screenings, Chahine’s birthday (25 January 1926) is celebrated.
The screenings consist of The Land (Egypt, 1969), considered a film classic of socialist realism, and Chaos (Egypt, 2007), Chahine’s last film, predicting the Arab Spring, and Hamlet from Alexandria directed by Mona Ghandour – a documentary about Chahine’s childhood and his relationship with the character Hamlet.
Screenings of Chahine’s films are held across Africa from 24 to 26 January, including all governates in Egypt and in around 30 African countries.
• The Land is one of Chahine's most enduring classics and details the struggle of a group of peasant farmers in the 1930s protecting their fields and their livelihood against a landlord interested only in self-aggrandizement. It offers a full-blooded narrative of a time when feudal structures still existed in Egypt. As part of socialist realism cinema, the film portrays political struggle, collective responses to oppression, mixed with sweeping nationalist emotions.
• Chahine co-directed his last film Chaos, with Khaled Youssef who had also worked on some of the screenplays of earlier works. The film is set largely in Cairo’s Shoubra district, once known for people of different religions living in peaceful coexistence, but now rife with social and political tensions. It is run by a corrupt police officer who is hated by all the locals. With visionary clarity, Chahine and Youseff develop a panorama of a people’s outbreak of anger in a violent police state, which seems to anticipate the revolution of 2011.

Screenings
The screening of The Land takes place at 16:00 on 25 January, ahead of Chaos & Hamlet of Alexandria at 19:00. Discussions follow the screening of each film.
The venue is the Namibia Arts Association Trust (10-14 Macadam St, opposite Obeco). Entrance is free, although donations are welcome. Snacks and drinks will be on sale.

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