Monday, February 4, 2013

The Emigrant المهاجر (dir: Youssef Chahine) - (1994) Egyptian one-sheet

The Emigrant (1994) - (dir: Youssef Chahine) Egyptian one-sheet

Pictured is a somewhat worn 27" x 39" promotional poster for the 1994 Youssef Chahine 120-minute color film The Emigrant [al-mohager] with screenplay and dialogue by Youssef Chahine, poster art by Jan and cinematography by Ramses Marzouk. Plot summary: Ram [Khaled Nabawy] lived with his old father [Michel Piccoli] in a poor tribe outside Egypt. Ram suffered from an unhappy dislike of his position as the favorite of his father's seven sons; he refused to accept that situation or to live in fear of drought, famine and flood. He dreamed of being in control of his own life and of his tribe being prosperous. He decided to go to Egypt to learn agriculture and to make use of other areas of knowledge found in Egyptian civilization. His brothers tied him up and threw him into the hold of a ship bound for Egypt, believing they had gotten rid of him forever, but Ram made it to Egypt and began learning agriculture. There he discovered the Egyptians were more interested in the arts and embalming. Ram met Amihar, [Mahmoud Hemida] the leader of the Egyptian armies. Amihar was impotent despite his physical strength and was unable to satisfy his wife Simihit [Youssra] after she fell in love with him. Amihar gave Ram a plot of land to farm. Ram fell in love with a pretty Egyptian girl named Haty [Hanan Turk] who said she would marry him. The two of them joined with an Egyptian minister farming the new land; they successfully cultivated the plot from Amihar. They divided the crop to help alleviate the famine that was threatening Egypt and Ram became a minister in the Pharaoh's government. Nonetheless he longed to return to his country after disclosing his identity to his seven brothers; he returned to his tribe with his wife, where he met with his father after long years of absence. He found his father had gone blind crying so much in the belief he had died, as his lying brothers had claimed. This film was banned by religious authorities in Egypt in 1994 and 1995, both times for violating Islamic strictures against depicting religious prophets--in this case the Prophet Joseph. After the ban was lifted The Emigrant became Chahine's most popular film.

Cast and crew: Youssef Chahine, Khaled el Nabaoui, Ahmed Bedir, Safia El Emari, Mahmoud Hemida, Yousef Ismail, Khaled Nabawy, Michel Piccoli, Ahmad Salama, Hanan Turk, Youssra, Ramses Marzouk, Menaha al-Batrawy, Sayed Abdel Karim, Amru Abdel Khalil, Ahmed Fouad Selim, Pierre Sioufi



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