Cairo: Acclaimed Egyptian film director, Ali Abdul Khaleq, known for espionage thrillers and social dramas, passed away on Friday after a battle against cancer, the country’s Cinema Professions Syndicate and his family said. He was 78.
Born in Cairo in June 1944, Abdul Khaleq’s directorial debut was “A Song on the Passageway” a 1972 war drama. His fame soared in 1982 with his widely popular film “Shame” that traced social changes in Egypt. The film starred cinema stars of the time Nour Al Sherif, Hussain Fahmi and Mahmoud Abdul Aziz.
Abdul Khaleq built on the genre in his equally popular film “Drug Addiction” that hit public screens in 1985.
His film credentials also included the spying thrillers “Execution of A Dead Man” in 1985 and “Well of Treachery “ two years later and the social drama “The Beasts’ Run” in 1987. His last film was “The Day of Dignity”, a 2004 military epic.
Abdul Khaleq also directed a string of TV serials, the last of which was the 2009 drama “The Second Gate” starring Egyptian actress Nabila Ebeid.
Egyptian Culture Minister Nevine Al Kelani paid homage to Abdul Khaleq, calling him “a special school in directing”.
The administration of the Cairo Film Festival, Egypt’s prestigious cinema showpiece, also mourned the death of Abdul Khaleq, crediting him with presenting several “important cinema works” through his career that started in the 1970s.
Egyptian media said Abdul Khaleq would be buried later Saturday in a family cemetery in the 6th of October suburb, west of Cairo.