African filmmaker to be commemorated at the Namibia Arts Association
Internationally renowned Egyptian filmmaker Youssef Chahine, will be commemorated on 25 January at the Namibia Arts Association, as part of the continent-wide initiative by the Luxor African Film Festival, Misr Films and Independence Avenue Films.
Independence Avenue Films will feature films by Youssef Chahine, which will include, ‘The Land’, a film considered a classic of socialist realism, ‘Chaos’, which was his last film, predicting the Arab Spring and the documentary film ‘Hamlet from Alexandria, a documentary about Chahine’s childhood.
Youssef Chahine is widely considered the pioneer of filmmaking in Egypt and the Middle East, with a distinctive brand of cinema and a truth-seeking lens. He has made musicals, comedies, adventure movies and melodramas before combining the traditions and temperament of Egyptian cinema with the latest achievements of contemporary European cinema with its neorealist style.
He quickly rose to star status and became the preferred director for large scale, historical, productions but his vision of the cinema was too personal and uncompromising for him to be instrumentalized for a long time.
After difficulties with the censors and a period of exile in Lebanon at the beginning of the 1970s, he founded his own production company, Misr International with which he was able to undertake increasingly political and daring projects.
Chahine was no stranger to controversy until the very end, and this was mostly felt in his altercation with censorship, critics and authorities. His contribution to the industry continues through the numerous directors and film technicians who have graduated from his school of film making.
For decades, he remained at the forefront of the industry due to his reliance on new faces and new blood that reinvigorated his artistry every time, leading up to his final work. At the 50th anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival he was awarded for his lifetime achievements.