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Dubai International Film Festival picks top 100 Arab films

A new book titled “Cinema for Passion” enlists Arab film experts to round up the best of Arab cinema

  • By Marwa Hamad, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 13:34 November 6, 2013
  • Tabloid

  • Image Credit: Supplied picture
  • A scene from the 1969 Egyptian movie The Mummy (Al-mummia) by Chadi Abdel Salam.

Dubai: Egyptian director Chadi Abdel Salem’s 1969 film “The Mummy” has topped a list of the 100 best Arab films compiled by the Dubai International Film Festival, which this December celebrates its 10-year anniversary.

“Cinema of Passion”, an Arabic-English book released on Wednesday, lists the top 100 films of Arab cinema, as chosen by Arab and cultural figures from around the world. The top 10 films include a number of Egyptian classics, with Youssef Chahine’s classic, “Cairo Station” (1958), in second place, and his film “The Land” (1969) in fourth. Daoud Abdel Sayed’s “Kit Kat” took eighth place to round up the selection of Egyptian films in the top 10.

The rest of the top 10 spots saw a mixture of global Arab talent, including Algerian film “Chronicle of the Years of Fire” (1975) in third place, Tunisia’s “The Silence of the Palaces” (1994) in fifth, Syria’s “Dreams of the City” (1983) in sixth place, and Palestine’s “Divine Intervention” (2001) in seventh.

Lebanese director Ziad Doueri’s “West Beirut” (1998) took ninth place, while Egyptian-Syrian flick, “The Dupes” (1972), finishes off the list at number 10.

Films from the last decade pepper the rest of the list, with Lebanese hit Caramel at 31 and Saudia Arabia’s Oscar contender Wadjda — the only film from the kingdom on the list — is at 44.

“The “Cinema for Passion” project is the perfect way to celebrate DIFF’s landmark tenth edition this year. Since the festival’s inception, our core mandate has been to celebrate, promote and nurture Arab cinema, and the book adds an important dimension of preserving and analysing the region’s film treasures,” said DIFF chairman Abdul Hamid Juma at the launch.

“Importantly, the project also recognises a rich tradition of Arab intellectuals and film specialists. Cultural workers are often unsung heroes of the film industry, overshadowed in the public eye by master directors like Youssef Chahine or timeless stars like Soad Hosny. However, it is the critics, academics and other cultural figures that love, publicise and cherish these films long after they have left the box office.”

The book includes an overall critical study of the full list by its editor, film critic Ziad Abdullah. Analyses of each film are given by 20 renowned Arab film critics, in both English and Arabic, to give historical context, background and depth.

Here’s the full list:

1 The Mummy (Al-mummia) Chadi Abdel Salam 1969 Egypt

2 Cairo Station (Bab EL Hadid) Youssef Chahine 1958 Egypt

3 Chronicle of the Years of Embers (Waqaa seneen al-jamr) Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina 1975 Algeria

4 The Land (Al-ard) Youssef Chahine 1969 Egypt

5 The Silence of the Palaces (Samt el qusur) Moufida Tlatli 1994 Tunisia, France

6 Dreams of The City (Ahlam el Madina) Mohamed Malas 1983 Syria

7 Divine Intervention (Yadon ilaheyya) Elia Suleiman 2001 Palestine, France, Germany, Morocco

8 Kit Kat Daoud Abdel Sayed 1991 Egypt

9 West Beirut (West Beyrouth) Ziad Doueiri 1998 Belgium, France, Norway, Lebanon

11 The Dupes (Al-makhdu’un) Tewfik Saleh 1972 Syria

11 Paradise Now (Aljanah Alaan) Hany Abu-Assad 2005 Palestine, France, Germany, Netherlands

12 Halfaouine: Boy of the Terraces (Asfour Stah) Ferid Boughedir 1990 Tunisia, France, Italy

13 Man of Ashes (Rih essed) Nouri Bouzid 1986 Tunisia

14 Ali Zoua Nabil Ayouch 1999 Morocco, Tunisia, France, Belgium, USA

15 Alexandria...Why? (Iskanderia... lih?) Youssef Chahine 1979 Egypt, Algeria

16 The Message (Al resalah) Moustapha Akkad 1976 Lebanon, Libya, Kuwait, Morocco, UK

17 Wedding in Galilee (Urs al-jalil) Michel Khleifi 1987 Belgium, France, Palestine

18 Date Wine (Arak el-balah) Radwan El-Kashef 1999 Egypt, Netherlands, Switzerland

19 Cruel Sea ( Bas ya Bahar) Khalid Al Siddiq 1972 Kuwait

21 The Nightingale’s Prayer (Duaa al-Karwan) Henry Barakat 1959 Egypt

21 The Time that Remains (El Zemen al Baqi) Elia Suleiman 2009 UK, Italy, Belgium, France

22 The Collar and the Bracelet (El Towk Wa El Eswera) Khairy Beshara 1986 Egypt

23 A Beginning and an End (Bidaya wa nihaya) Salah Abouseif 1960 Egypt

24 Lion of The Desert Moustapha Akkad 1980 Libya, United States of America

25 Stars in Broad Daylight (Nojoom Annahar) Ossama Mohammed 1988 Syria

26 The Night (AL LIEL) Mohamed Malas 1992 Syria

27 The Wife of an Important Man (Zawgat ragol mohim) Mohamed Khan 1987 Egypt

28 The Winds of the Aures (Rih al awras) Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina 1966 Algeria

29 Omar Qatlato Merzak Allouache 1977 Algeria

31 The Sparrow (Al-asfour) Youssef Chahine 1972 Egypt, Algeria

31 Caramel (Sukkar banat) Nadine Labaki 2007 Lebanon, France

32 The Yacoubian Building (Omaret yakobean) Marwan Hamed 2006 Egypt

33 Bus Driver (Sawak al-utubis) Atef El-Tayeb 1983 Egypt

34 The Sin (Alharam) Henry Barakat 1965 Egypt

35 The Water-Carrier Is Dead (Al-saqqa mat) Salah Abouseif 1977 Egypt, Tunisia

36 The Postman (Al-boustaguy) Hussein Kamal 1968 Egypt

37 Kafr Kassem Borhane Alaouie 1974 Syria

38 Where Do We Go Now? ( Ou Halla La Weyn?) Nadine Labaki 2011 Egypt, France, Italy, Lebanon

39 The Return of the Prodigal Son (Awdat al ibn al dal) Youssef Chahine 1976 Egypt, Algeria

40 The Innocent (Elbaree) Atef El-Tayeb 1986 Egypt

41 The Gate of Sun (Bab el shams) Yousry Nasrallah 2004 Belgium, Denmark, Egypt, France, Morocco

42 Destiny (Al-massir) Youssef Chahine 1997 Egypt

43 The Barber of the Poor Quarter (Halak Darb al Fuqra) Mohamed Reggab 1982 Morocco

44 Wadjda Haifaa Al Mansour 2012 Germany, Saudi Arabia,, United Arab Emirates

45 A Flood in Baath Country (Tawafan fi bilad al baath) Omar Amiralay 2003 France, Syria

46 The Extras (Al-kompars) Nabil Al- Maleh 1993 Syria

47 In Casablanca, Angels Don’t Fly (Fawqa al-Dar albayda al Malaika la Tuhaliq) Mohamed Asli 2004 Italy, Morocco

48 Chronicle of a Disappearance (Sejell ikhtifa) Elia Suleiman 1996 Palestine, USA, Germany, France

49 Land of Fear (Ard al-Khof) Daoud Abdel Sayed 1999 Egypt

50 The Secret of the Grain ( Le Grain et Le Mulet) Abdellatif Kechiche 2007 France

51 The Second wife (Al-zawja al-thaniya) Salah Abouseif 1967 Egypt

52 Golden Horseshoes (Safa’ih zahab) Nouri Bouzid 1988 Tunisia

53 Little Wars (Houroub Saghira) Maroun Bagdadi 1982 Lebanon, France

54 I Love Cinema (Baheb el cima) Oussama Fawzi 2004 Egypt

55 Everyday Life in a Syrian Village Omar Amiralay 1974 Syria

56 Cairo 30 (al-Qahira 30) Salah Abouseif 1966 Egypt

57 Days of Glory Rachid Bouchareb 2006 Belgium, France, Algeria, Morocco

58 The Dove’s Lost Necklace (Tawq al-hamama al mafqoud) Nacer Khemir 1987 Tunisia, France, Italy

59 Dreams of Hind and Camilia (Ahlam Hind we Kamilia) Mohamed Khan 1988 Egypt

61 Le grand voyage (Al-rihla al- kubra) Ismael Ferroukhi 2004 France, Morocco, Bulgaria, Turkey

61 The Mirage (Assarab) Ahmed Bouanani 1979 Morocco

62 EL Karnak Ali Badrakhan 1975 Egypt

63 The Will (El azima) Kamal Selim 1939 Egypt

64 A Thousand Months (Alf Shaher) Faouzi Bensaïdi 2003 Morocco, France, Belgium, Germany

65 Wanderers of the Desert (El-haimoune) Nacer Khemir 1984 Tunisia, France

66 The Tough (Elfetawa) Salah Abouseif 1957 Egypt

67 Traces (Wachma) Hamid Bennani 1970 Morocco

68 Casanegra Nour Eddine Lakhmari 2008 Morocco

69 Life or Death (Hayat ou Maut) Kamal El Sheikh 1954 Egypt

71 A Bit of fear (Shey min el khouf) ussein Kamal 1969 Egypt

71 Out of life (Hors la vie) Maroun Bagdadi 1991 Belgium, France, Italy

72 Fertile Memory (Al Dhakira al Khasba) Michel Khleifi 1980 Germany, Palestine, Netherlands, Belgium

73 Bitter Day, Sweet Day (Yom mor..yom helw) Khairy Beshara 1988 Egypt

74 Sejnane Abdellatif Ben Ammar 1973 Tunisia

75 The Border (Al-Hudud) Duraid Lahham 1984 Syria

76 The Beach of Lost Children (Shata’ al Atfal al Da’a’in) Jillali Ferhati 1991 Morocco

77 Salt of this Sea (Milh hadha al-bahr) Annemarie Jacir 2008 Palestine

78 Adrift on the Nile (Thartharah fawq al-Nil) Hussein Kamal 1971 Egypt

79 Chaos, This Is (Heya fawda) Youssef Chahine, Khaled Youssef 2007 France, Egypt

80 Al Yazerli Kais Al-Zubaidi 1974 Syria

81 The Leech (Shabab Emraa) Salah Abouseif 1955 Egypt

82 The Citadel (El kalaa) Mohamed Chouikh 1988 Algeria

83 Messages from the Sea (Rassayel El Bahr) Daoud Abdel Sayed 2010 Egypt

84 The Emigrant (Al-mohager) Youssef Chahine 1994 Egypt, France

85 Masquerades Lyes Salem 2008 Algeria, France

86 Fools’ Alley (Darb al-Mahabil) Tewfik Saleh 1955 Egypt

87 The Street Player ( El harrif) Mohamed Khan 1984 Egypt

88 Amreeka Cherien Dabis 2009 Canada, United States of America, Kuwait

89 Violets Are Blue (Lieah ya banafsieg) Radwan El-Kashef 1993 Egypt

90 Waiting for Happiness (Heremakono) Abderrahmane Sissako 2002 Mauritania, France

91 Take Care of Zuzu (Khally Balak Men Zuzu) Hassan Al Imam 1972 Egypt

92 Phantom Beirut (Ashbah Beirut) Ghassan Salhab 1998 Lebanon, France

93 Heena Maysara Khaled Youssef 2007 Egypt

94 Bab el-Oued City Merzak Allouache 1994 Algeria, France, Germany, Switzerland

95 An Egyptian Citizen (Al-Mowaten Masri) Salah Abouseif 1990 Egypt

96 Microphone Ahmad Abdalla 2010 Egypt

97 scape (El heroob) Atef El-Tayeb 1988 Egypt

98 Oral Messages (Rassaelle Chafahyia) Abdullatif Abdulhamid 1991 Syria

99 The Leopard (Al Fahd) Nabil Al- Maleh 1972 Syria

100 The Flirtation of Girls (Ghazal Al Banat) Anwar Wagdi 1949 Egypt

100 Son of Babylon (Ibn Babel) Mohamed Al Daradji 2009 Iraq, UK , France, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Palestine

100 Mercedes Yousry Nasrallah 1993 Egypt, France

100 The Hyena’s Sun (shames al Debaa) Ridha Behi 1976 Tunisia, Netherland

100 Coming Forth by Day (Al-khoroug lel-nahar) Hala Lotfy 2012 Egypt, United Arab Emirates

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