Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Choice الاختيار (dir: Youssef Chahine) - (1971) Egyptian one-sheet

The Choice (1971) - (Soad Hosny) Egyptian one-sheet

This is a 27" x 39" Egyptian poster designed by Hassan Mazhar Gasour for the 1971 Youssef Chahine (1926-2008) film The Choice based on a story by Naguib Mahfouz and Youssef Chahine. It won the Tanit d'Or prize at the 1971 Carthage Film Festival. Cinematography was by Ahmed Khorshed. Plot Summary: Sayed [Ezzat El Alaili] was a famous writer and researcher living in Alexandria who had climbed to the top of the social and political pyramid. He was married to Sharifa [Soad Hosny]. He and his wife were preparing for a trip abroad to work in a UN delegation. He read a report in a newspaper about the murder of his twin brother Mahmoud [Ezzat El Alaili] and postponed his trip. He contacted the police and asked them to investigate. Mahmoud was a sailor who lived his life far and wide as he wished to do, without any responsibilities. He had absolutely no interest in social or political centers; in this he was the opposite of his brother who tried to be at the top of social affairs. However he was often defeated by his own reworked ideas, which contained nothing new. Mahmoud stayed away from the social life Sayed loved; he preferred instead to live his life free of tedious problems. He moved as he wished according to whim, across Mahmoud's magical world and frequenting all its places from the homes of artists to magificent mansions. The police officer was skeptical about what was happening around him and began to develop a plan for tracking this writer Sayed, who was living a double life: The cultured man was caught between the true roots of culture and the effort to rise socially. Sayed fled but the police caught him and put him in a mental hospital. "When a free-spirited sailor is found murdered, his twin brother--a famous novelist--is the prime suspect. Investigators uncover a possible liaison between the dead sailor and the writer's wife, and also learn that Sayed's successful fictions owe much to the inspiration of his brother Mahmoud's adventurous life. Just as the evidence against the novelist seems overwhelming, Mahmoud turns up alive. But why are the twins never seen together...? In this very personal film, one can see the symbolic outlines of the uneasy relationship between Egyptian intellectuals and the problems of the proletariat". From the Cornell University Library web site.

Cast and crew: Youssef Chahine, Saad Ardash, Abdel Kader Hussein, Mahmoud Sobhi, Rashad Hamed, Kemal Morsy, Ashraf al-Solhdar, Hoda Soltan, Mahmoud El-Meliguy, Naguib Mahfouz, Ezzat El Alaili, Seif El Dine, Soad Hosny, Seif Eddine Shawkat, Ahmed Khorshed, Mimi Shakeeb, Abdel Rahman Abou Zahra, Madiha Kamel, Youssef Wahby, Aly El Cherif

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