Khaled returns from USA to his mother's funeral at his hometown: Alexandria, Egypt. He decides to make it a fresh new start even if it meant mending his first love story yet it proved a ... See full summary »
Khaled Abol Naga,
Yousra El Lozy
This Egyptian action film is about Tito (Ahmad Al Saqa), who was sentenced to 16 years in jail after a burglary when he was a kid. After he gets out, he goes back to crime with a corrupt ... See full summary »
In the middle of his own heart surgery, an Egyptian filmmaker remembers his life. In fact his old self, as a child, is accused of attempted murder of his new self. Through the metaphoric ... See full summary »
Egyptian film director Yehia encounters his first love Ginger as he was being celebrated in New York. Back then they were 19 years old. The American Dream was the thing of the 20th century. Yehia, the boy from Alexandria, and Ginger, the American gal, were students at Pasadena Playhouse.40 years later, they are back together but the world has changed and the American Dream is no longer what it used to be. Yehia finds out that he had begotten an American child, a boy. Through a boisterous epic in which heroes love, sing, dance, laugh and cry, Youssef Chahine reconsiders his past and his ambiguous relationship to America which he loved so much. Written by
"Alexandria...New York" is a sort of rich panoramic summing-up, or a multi-faceted "idealized emotional mirror", of the life of a legendary film director --- fictitious and, at the same time, a double of Mr. Youssef Chahine. Due to a "nest of dolls" plot, it unfolds on many levels: the past (in Alexandria) and the present/future (in New York), the father and the son, the «younger» father and the «older» father, etc. Its length of two hours passes quickly, an indication of its charm.
Despite the title, very little is seen of the two cities (most scenes were shot in the studio), but the "spirit of the places" (according to Lawrence Durrell's expression --- another Alexandria lover with his memorable "Quartet") is always present. Incidentally, Durrell is mentioned in the film.
Mr. Chahine's confidence in his subject is real and justified --- contrary to what certain critics may think. Also, the story of the "hidden and discovered son" is pertinent in relation to the film's overall structure.
In this beautiful film, there is also a lyricism in the score, the touching songs and quite a few well-staged "eastern-western" dances, a good-natured sense of humor, a beauty and a sensuality in certain passages: beautiful faces, sensual and intimate scenes, and, on one occasion, an astonishing although quite modest scene: it is rather rare in the movies to see a woman "adoring" her beloved man's body, starting with his feet !
There is also a little-known excerpt from "Hamlet," a reinterpreted scene from Bizet's "Carmen", an extract from the final scenes of one of Mr. Chahine's first masterpieces (in which he played, himself, an important role), and more.
Despite some rare flaws (a few overexposed scenes, a dark-haired and totally unlikely Rita Hayworth), this film is a great one!
I say it and repeat it: Bravo! Mr. Youssef Gabriel Chahine, you remain young at age 75!
9 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?