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Biography of Youssef CHAHINE

Egypt > Arts : Youssef CHAHINE

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Born on 25/01/1926 (format : day/month/year)

Biography :

Youssef Chahine (born Jan 25,1926 in Alexandria , Egypt - died July 27, 2008) ,was  the founder of the Egyptian personal film and one of the most important Arab directors. For more than half a century in more than 40 often taboo-breaking films, Chahine has woven together tales and history, often on the basis of his own life. He has received various awards, like in Cannes in 1997 for his life´s work.

Youssef Chahine was born on the 25th of January, 1925, in Alexandria in Egypt as the son of a respected Lebanese lawyer and a Greek orthodox Christian mother. After going to a French monastery school and English-speaking Victoria College, he began studying at the University of Alexandria but he was not keen on becoming an official in line with his parents´ wishes, rather he was fond of films. He studied film-making at the Pasadena Play House in Los Angeles then returned to Egypt, where he is still living.
After working for just two years as an actor, he made his first film ´Papa Amin´, a musical comedy, in 1950. With ´Crime in the Main Station in Cairo´ he created a milestone of Egyptian neo-realism. His international breakthrough came with his autobiographical film ´Alexandria... Why?´ in 1978, for which he was awarded the Silver Bear at the International Film Festival in Berlin. His interpretation of the Biblical story of Joseph ´The Emigrant´ in 1994 was banned in Egypt. ´Fate´ in 1997 was nominated for the Golden Palm in Cannes, where he was then given an award for his life´s work, which in the course of half a century already encompassed more than 40 films.


Baba Amin (Papa Amin)- 1950 El mohareg el kebyr (The Big Clown) - Enta habyby (You're My Love) -
Ibn al-Nil (Nile Boy) - 1951
Sira` Fi al-Wadi (The Blazing Sun, Mortal Revenge)- 1954
Sira` fi el-Minaa (Dark Waters)- 1956
Salwa al fatah al saghyra allaty tokalem el abkar (Salwa the littile girl who talk to cows) -
Bab al-Hadid (Cairo Station or Cairo Main Station)- 1958
Al Nasser Salah Ad-Din (The Victorious Saladin) - 1963
Fagr youm gedyd (Dawn of a New Day) - 1964
'Biyaa El Khawatem'" (The Ring Salesman) produced in 1965 (based on the musical of 1964)
Al-Ard (The Land)- 1969
El Asfur (The Bird) -
Al-Ekhtyiar (the Choice) -
Awdet el ebn el dal (Return of The Prodigal Son) - 1976
Iskandariyah... lih? (Alexandria... Why?)- 1978
Hadduta Misriyah (An Egyptian Story)- 1982
Wadaan Bonabart (Adieu Bonaparte) - 1985
al-Yawm al-Sadis (The Sixth Day) - 1987
Iskandariyah Kaman wa Kaman (Alexandria Again and Forever)- 1990
El kahera menawara be 2ahlalaha -
Al-Mohagir (The Emigrant)- 1994
Al-Massir (The Destiny) - 1997

Al-Akhar (The Other)
Sokoot Hansawwar (Silence, We're Rolling)
Iskandariyah-New York (Alexandria-New York)
Heya Fawda (What a Mess!) (soon)

Last update : 07/27/2008

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