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Alexandria... Why? (1979)

Iskanderija... lih? (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 27 February 1980 (France)
"Yahia", a young man living in the cosmopolitan Alexandria during World War II. Between his dreams, which up to Hollywood and constraints of his life in the middle class trying to be a new ... See full summary »

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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sarah (as Naglaa Fathi)
Ahmed Zaki ...
Ibrahim (as Ahmed Zaky)
Farid Shawqi ...
Mohsen's Father (as Farid Chawky)
Mahmoud El-Meliguy ...
Qadry (as Mahmoud El Meligui)
Ezzat El Alaili ...
Shaker (as Ezzat El Alayli)
Youssef Wahby
Yehia Chahine
Leila Fawzi
Mohsena Tewfik ...
(as Mohsena Tawfik)
Akela Kateb
Zeinab Sedky
Seif El Dine ...
(as Seif El Din)
Ahmad Abdel Waress
Abdel Aziz Makhyoun
Gerry Sundquist ...
Thomas 'Tommy' Friskin
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Storyline

"Yahia", a young man living in the cosmopolitan Alexandria during World War II. Between his dreams, which up to Hollywood and constraints of his life in the middle class trying to be a new Hamlet to be or not to be . Uprising dreams wondering where all new meaning to life amid the horrors of war and life pain . Written by Ahmed Nasr

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

27 February 1980 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Iskandereiya... leh?  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first of Youssef Chahine's autobiographical films. See more »

Connections

Followed by Iskanderija, kaman oue kaman (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Egyptian Fellini.. Do we need one ?
3 December 2007 | by (Egypt) – See all my reviews

Yussef is one of the masters of Egyptian Cinema, and I think he got himself a good reputation abroad, specially in France and Russia. He was always criminally ignored by Hollywood, though he studied Cine art in NY. However, he developed this Fellini complex recently. He keeps talking about his youth, his sexual complexes, his relations with parents, his study of Cinema, conflicts with the totalitarian governments.. etc. Yussef comes from a very marginal society in Alexandria, being Catholic (most of Egyptian Christians are Orthodox), from a fairly rich family, being educated at Victoria college. Till now his Arabic language is not perfect. From this marginal area he tries to give us a very complex panorama of the Egyptian society during WW II, when Germans were about to conquer Alexandria, and the British were about to flee. Some Egyptians thought that Romel would be their liberator from the British occupation. Here, you find a complete mess from Egyptian Islamists (Muslim brothers), Jews, communists, aristocrats, Catholics, British soldiers, Nazis ... etc... Very complex that U spend 1 hour trying to figure anything... U got only 3 seconds for every character to understand his attitude and problem. Then, in the second hour, things get better and U begin to appreciate this director. The movie gets emotion and U care for characters...

The final shot shows Miss Liberty while the young man stands on board on his way to US to study Cine art. Then we see Miss Liberty's face closer and we discover it's the face of a prostitute heavily covered with make-up, and she laughs loudly and obscenely. This summarizes his memories about his USA experience. Americans won't like this scene, but they will like it in East Europe and Russia. My opinion is that Mr Shahin is a genius film director, but is a very bad script writer. However, it's impossible to convince him otherwise because he has always done what he thought was right, and he is 80 now ... No hope for change !


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