Sunday, July 27, 2008

RIP Youssef Chahine

Egypt has lost a giant of its film industry, writer and director Youssef Chahine. His movies were the darlings of critics in France and elsewhere overseas, but even at home audiences appeciated his vision of Egypt at a crossroads - between corruption and morality, between tradition and the modern world, and, most literally, as the place where East and West, often uneasily, meet.

He helped make Omar Sharif an international star, and he did wonderful work with actresses - a testimony to his patience, if nothing else, for Egyptian divas are an extreme version of the type.

Chahine will be buried in the city he celebrated in his films, beautiful, tragic, temperamental Alexandria, the biggest Egyptian diva of them all...

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