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Hammam al-Malatily (1973)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Muhammad Al-Araby
Youssef Chaban
Shams El-Barudy
Fayez Halawa
Nimat Mukhtar
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Storyline

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Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

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Release Date:

2 July 1973 (Egypt)  »

Also Known As:

The Bathhouse of Malatily  »

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Handsome Egyptian Actor Muhammad Alaraby Is torn between a gay relation or an affair with a seductive woman.
1 March 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The beginning shows what Habib calls a "long scenic tribute" to Cairo and to the general city. Habib said that the director "visually implies the polymorphous vagaries of the city in which an immoral underworld is bound to flourish.

The main character, Aĥmad, leaves rural eastern Egypt for the city hoping to become economically self-sufficient, get an apartment for his parents, and obtain a law degree. He and his family are refugees from a town occupied by the Israeli army, Ismaåilia. Ali, the owner of the Malatily Bathhouse, offers to let him stay there for free. Aĥmad encounters several characters there, including Naåeema, a prostitute who he becomes obsessed with, and Raouf, a male homosexual. Ali later has Aĥmad work as his accountant. Aĥmad eventually has sexual intercourse with Naåeema. Aĥmad finds a lack of employment opportunities and becomes associated with the bathhouse, so his original goals are not met. Habib said "There appears to be a sensitive awareness that foreign viewers of the film should not regard its content as conspiring with or approving of the morally loose behavior of the libertines it depicts." Habib argues that this seems to depict Egyptian society in a "state of disarray" likely to be occurring during the Suez Crisis. Aĥmad is the main character.

One character, Raouf Bey, is a male homosexual. Habib said that Raouf "subverts popular understanding of homosexuality by being unable to be brought back into the norm of heterosexual desires." Raouf makes advances towards Aĥmad, who initially cannot comprehend them. He is good friends with Åli. Habib wrote that Raouf is "an unsympathetic character" as he exploits men who do not willingly do homosexual acts but require him in order to make a living, and that Raouf's sexuality "initially appears" to be without emotion and only physical. Habib wrote that it appears Raouf wishes to prostitute Aĥmad but in fact he truly wants Aĥmad to be his boyfriend, and while citing the works of the historian Jabarti he laments that he cannot do what he wants in the modern society despite the freedom of the past.

Muålim Åli is the owner of the bathhouse. He gives male prostitutes to Raouf. Police arrest him after Kamal commits murder.

Naåeema, a female prostitute, has her first romantic sexual relation with Ahmad. She comes from a poor background and prostitutes herself in order to support herself.

Kamal, a male prostitute, is an employee of Åli. He murders a casino director who Habib implies is a "sugar daddy" and who is the new employer of Kamal. Habib wrote that the male prostitutes are "incidental to the main plot" and all originate from desperate, impoverished backgrounds.

Samir is a male prostitute. Aĥmad tells him he should find a reliable job that has respectability, and Samir responds stating that he is poor and does not have the luxury of planning for the far future. Through Samir and Fatĥi, Ahmad learns that some people cannot go ahead in life through perseverance, self-education, and diligence, and that some people have to be prostitutes in order to survive.

Fatĥi is another male prostitute. In a conversation with Aĥmad he tells him a concept similar to that given by Samir.

Mohsin is an employee of the bathhouse.

Rated R For Frontal Male Nudity And For The Gay Theme.


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