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By Zine El Abidine Khairy

Translated by Fadi Ghali

Many in the Egyptian history who mastered the acting profession; they presented all kinds of roles with great craftsmanship, and no one was able to lock their talent in a particular stereotype, whether in tragedy or comedy, evil or good, but instead they smashed all the stereotypes and unleashed their demons freely among the various different roles in professional manners & in an infinite talent shrine of characters that never runs out of new faces & ways to attract the viewer to their performances, one of these actors became one of the great masters, the great actor Hassan Hosni.

Hassan Hosni drew the audience’s attention always in general & he drew mine since I was a kid through his TV series "My Dear Sons, Thank You" (1979), but in a very negative way – as he made me hate him since first scene as he was playing evil games Against the series’ very good hero "Papa Abdo" or the great actor Abdel Moneim Madbouli, where he played the company’s corrupt secretary role - entrusted to prove that this old employee is outdated and that his career must be terminated immediately.

But was the series "My dear sons, thank you" really the beginning for Hassan Hosni? Indeed not!

Before his appearance in this series & even since his childhood, the great actor - born in the citadel (October 15, 1931) to a contractor father and a mother who passed away at the age of six - has suffered for many years in the acting field that he loved, but he wasn’t compensated for this suffering until years later, after long time, through which he passed on many important stations, until his luck, finally, changed after the age of sixty, so that the son of the new Helmiya became "The cinema amulet" or "the blessing" and the most common element in successful films since the nineties of the twentieth century, till now.

The sudden start

During my research in the journey of Uncle Hassan Hosni to prepare this study, I was surprised that his first appearance on the screen was in 1963 after only 7 years from high-school graduation, and shortly after joining the military theater band with the late actor Hassan Abdeen, and even before that, Hassan Hosni had known success as a student in many school theaters’ roles, most notably the role of "Antonio", which won the Excellence Cup in the Khedive School. Hosni got used to get appreciation medals from the Ministry of Education, before drawing the attention of the great artist Hussein Riad to his talent, during his participation in a school competition evaluation committee, and only at that moment, the student Hassan Hosni realized that he won’t become anything else but a professional actor.

Shortly after joining the military theater team in 1963, the great director “Henry Barakat” chose Hassan Hosni as one of the new faces to take its first chance in his film “The open door” starring Fatin Hamama, Saleh Selim, Mahmoud Morsi & Hassan Youssef – based on lotefa El zayat novel. It is true that Hassan Hosni's role was only a few seconds on the screen as one of the captured soldiers in company of two captured commandos - played by film heroes: Saleh Selim and Mahmoud Al-Hudaini - but it remains an important participation for him, as the first on the big screen, that Hosni will be one of its most prominent stars many years later with more than 165 films - making him one of Egypt's most productive actors ever.

Hassan Hosni's films will continue to be very few with limited film roles as in “No Time for Love” (1963) and the other half (1967), then his participation scenes quantity grew bigger to reach small roles like his labor boss role in "Love and Pride" by Hassan Imam, starring Mahmoud Yassin, Najla Fathi and Shahira, then the coffee shop waiter role in the "Karnak" film by Ali Badrakhan with Souad Hosni, Nour El Sherif and Kamal Al-Shennawi.

The new realism son

Hassan Hosni needed Twenty years to get more distinguished roles in cinema - especially with the new realism cinema directors wave, whose star rose in the 80s - starting with the "The Bus Drivers" film (1982) with director Atef El Tayeb  & “the heroes” starring Nour El Sherif, Mirvat Amin and Emad Hamdy, where he played the events’ dynamo role of greedy and neglectable "Awni " - the husband of Haj Sultan daughters’ – in charge of the workshop’s management causing its seizure and sale in auction by the tax authority.

The role of "Awni" came in continuation of the evil roles that characterized Hosni in film and television in that period, especially after "my dear sons, thank you" TV series, but most probably it was the first time for Hassan Hosni’s name to be put in on the film poster – and not any film – one of the most important films of Egyptian cinema, so it was natural after his remarkable shining role in this film to be placed on film posters - in a region quite different from the one he was previously in - as one of the important actors, who deserve more important roles. That already happened but in very little amount only - through Four other films with Atif Tayeb: "The Innocent" (1986), "The Basement" (1987), "The Escape (1991), "Blood on the Asphalt" (1992) and in film with Mohammed Khan "An Important Man’s Wife " (1987) - with whom he played one of his most prominent roles at this stage, as “Abdel Azim Elkoronfoly” - the comic hassling former history teacher, the philosopher character that changes the film hero’s concepts - in the film "The City Knight”, (1993). This last role won him the Best Actor prize at the Alexandria Film Festival & best Actor at the National Film Festival in the same year 1993. And so finally, Hassan Hosni’s talent started to get its deserved respect, even if it happened after he got over 60 years of age.

The "The Joy thief" thief

Almost two years after Hassan Hosni shining in "The City Knight", he was on a new date with brilliance in a role I consider the most important ever in his career, even though the film itself is not the most important in his career or his director’s career. This film was "The Joy Thief "Directed by Dawood Abdel-Sayed - another director of the new realism knights who took Hassan Hosni's talent and blew its dust away and explored it until he touched and showed its original essence. The role he played was "Rokba” the old monkey trainer, who despite his age and difficult life circumstances - did not lose his passion for life. The left passion is not for all of it, but for the link that still connects him with it "Romana" (played by Hanan Turk), the young sister of the heroine "Ahlam" (played by Lucy).

Hassan Hosni - with his great talent and experience for more than thirty years before the film - realized that Rokba's role is not like any other role he has performed before, as He opens the film, narrates it in its first scenes, and through his telescope, we will see the film heroes, a close up of its secondary characters and recognize them all, so that we can say that "Rokba" was the window that opened our eyes to the rest of the film characters.

Even though his character was not the film hero, but Hassan Hosni also realized from his first scene - that he plays the key character to understand the rest of the characters. He played on this very brilliantly. He is the friend of Awad the hero and the witness of his love affair with the heroine Ahlam. He - himself - is in fond of her sister that has absolutely nothing in common with him, but even though he craves her with full desire, and therefore came most of his film scenes as self-master scenes, starting from the opening scene – starting in a panorama review of the poor random area where the events revolves at the top of Mokattam hill - as he opens up talking to his monkey "Sugar", Complaining of his worries and showing his desire to get free - creating a very persuasive relationship between him and the monkey, as if they were old friends and convincing us superbly with this relationship as great actor - able to portray the essence of a monkey trainer character integrating his talent with clever acting techniques - using the real character’s physical details from clothes and accessories in addition of his foot limp, which shows us one of the reasons for calling this character this strange name “Rokba" (knee).

And then comes the scene of reviewing the place through the telescope that we talked about before - passing through one of the most beautiful scenes in the film - in which he talks to the rising sun in the sky while shaking his percussion, optimistic about the sunrise feeling that it means that all his dreams will come true: "Romana will love me like I do, and the monkey will learn how to speak. Rise sweetie, Rise”. Even though in this scene and in the opening scene the dialogue may seem naïve at many times, but Hassan Hosni's performance was enough to make you ignore that dialogue in favor of his cheerful facial expressions, as if his shaking percussion was the true engine driving the sun to the heart of the sky.

Then comes the scene of Rokba’s confession to his friend Awad of his love for "Romana". A scene that begins with Awad crying on Rokba’s shoulder because of his inability to marry his sweetheart "Ahlam", as if he was provoking the same crying desire inside "Rokba" who is having a similar situation. When Awad asks him about his crying reason, he replies while still crying in a very childish way “I am in love, Awad”. Awad asks:“who”. Rokba replies:” "Romana Bint Bayoumi" Ahlam’s sister! Awad, then forgets his personal tragedy and his crying transforms into a continuous bout of laughter that provokes Rokba that sparks in speech and leaves weeping & kicking the ground angrily with his stick in a scene that shows extraordinary acting capabilities of Hassan Hosni that - due to his over sincere performance - makes you sympathize with his - strange unequal at all - love story.

Then comes the most important scene of Hassan Hosni in the " Joy Thief ", and may be the crown jewel of the film, a scene in which “Romana” dances on the rhythm of Rokba’s slapping percussion in one of the neighborhood girl’s wedding. The scene begins with Rukba’s eyes sneaking over Romana - who is sitting with the bride's girlfriends on her sister Ahlam’s side - in passionate & love craving looks that soon turn to provocative, when the dancing girl asks Romana to dance in her place. At the same time "Romana" - who had just tied the belt around her waist - started dancing, Rokba's face cheers like a child, and his hands begin to tremble & shake the percussion as if he is announcing to everyone that the he will lead - attracting Romana’s attention. Then he begins to slap on percussion like a master, provoking the burning female inside Romana. And since then, the scene goes in crescendo - forming A triangular struggle between "Rokba" and "Romana" and his "Percussion" - that transforms while rising to an umbilical rope between their souls and bodies, as if they achieve full orgasm without a single touch! When the goal is achieved, “Romana” falls in the belly of her sister, while Rokba swallows and regains his breath and move away from everyone and throw his percussion behind him, as if he does not want anything else from this world, after this metaphorical mating with his sweetheart, but the beloved surprises him where he sits away on the mountain top!

At first, he doesn’t believe his eyes and reaches with his hand to her face and drops it on her body, as if to verify that what he sees is not a dream. His face sheers up gradually under the concentrated lighting, until it feels like his shining face is the source of illumination - not the target! When his hand finishes its mission, Rokba’s second orgasm has been achieved, and so he runs in joy revolving around himself, fulfilling his desire to fly or "to be free" – his liberation desire announced to the monkey in the first scene.

A very beautiful scene, where the real hero was Hassan Hosni's facial expressions that expressed with superior ability - all the feelings described in the previous paragraph. It is the great natural talent and years of experience, along with the sincerity of the scene written and directed by Daoud Abdel-Sayed. All the factors combined to make this scene one of Hassan Hosni’s most beautiful scenes in his long and very rich acting career with numerous different roles - that never reached such a level before. This may have been one of the reasons that “the Joy thief” role brought him five acting awards or even caused the entire film success, as he was the biggest beneficiary.

Lucky Amulet

In that period from the beginning of the 1990s, Hassan Hosni had a participation average of four films per year – as He participated specifically in 36 films in nine years from 1991 to the year 1999 - the year he participated in the film "Abboud on the Borders" with the director Sherif Arafa, as his first film with a group of comedians called "the new comedians" that included: the late Alaa Wali al-Din, Mohammed Hneidi, Ashraf Abdul Baki, Hani Ramzi and later on joined by Mohammed Saad and Ahmed Helmi. So, it is not true that his films participation with these stars was the reason of his late professional spread after the age of sixty. At that time, His professional spread’s real reason was his success with the new realism directors’ group since the eighties and continued in the 90s, especially with Atif Tayeb, Mohammed Khan and Daoud Abdul-Sayed. This "the new comedians" stage has led to an increase in his films’ participation quantity as he nearly joined 50% of the films of that time and reached by the end of the first ten years of the new millennium to about 60 films - which means – that his film participation average increased to about 6 films per year! If We compare it with 4 films average earlier, then the difference won’t be much, but the real difference was in the quality of the roles he played. Of course, most of the roles have become comic to match the films’ quality that became possessive of him, unlike the previous stage where film roles varied widely between all types and perhaps the roles he played in “the new comedians” films have increased in sizes, but in contrast, it got lower in quality -  compared to the previous stage roles that have reached their peak in films such as "The City Knight", "Blood on the Asphalt" and "The Joy Thief ".

The most notable remark of “the New Comedians” stage films is that they considered Hassan Hosni’s presence in their films as an amulet of luck or "the blessing" in those films - where they were optimistic of his presence to ensure their films success.

Since then, Hassan Hosni’s film optimistic presence phenomena - continued in most of the comedies screened till 2018 and with the stars - other than “the new comedians” - who emerged later on, from Karim Abdel Aziz, Ahmed Rizk, Sameh Hussein, Hamada Hilal, Ahmed Eid, Ramez Galal, Mai Ezz El Din, Ahmed Makki to Mohammed Imam, who co-starred with Hosni in his films "Captain Egypt" and "Inferno in India".

Flying video King

The great film success achieved by Hassan Hosni, did not prevent him from achieving the same success in TV through dozens of television series, especially in the pre-intensive Cinema spread stage in the nineties, as he has participated in more than 200 known TV series, in addition to those that were not mentioned by Different sources, as they were mostly shot or screened out of Egypt. In over fifty years, his documented works - such as "detective inspector" (1968) with the great director Hassan Imam and even the second part of the latest TV series "the God father" (2018) with young director Peter Mimi – simply mean that Hassan Hosni was flying in the first half between the various Gulf studios - from Ajman to Dubai and from Kuwait to Amman before settling in the last thirty years in Egypt - to fulfill his various works’ commitments between cinema, television, radio and even the theater - that cannot be bypassed as he was one of his loyal sons.

The important roles out of the two hundred TV series he made, are way too many and need to be studied alone, especially when talking about its most important - such as his role of Fathi, the corrupt company secretary in "my dear sons thank you", the Jewish jackal lawyer role, Yussef El Azraa in "Raafat El-Hagan", “Sherif el Kashef” very important role in the "Halawani gate" in its various parts, and “the private Sharabi” in "money and the sons". Not to mention his great brilliance playing Mr. Wafaey’s character in "Arabesque", along with other important roles - such as Sheikh Ibrahim El-Beltagy’s role, “the father of Umm Kulthum” in the series that carried her name, Hishmat Pasha in the "Republic of Zefta" and numerous other important roles.

The theater’s son

The theater witnessed Hasan Hosni’s career beginnings since he was in the military theater band through the Tawfiq al-Hakim theater, the national theater and even the private theater. He has starred in each of these theaters for nearly 60 years, during which he presented about 50 well-known plays, other than undocumented dozens. As After the dissolution of the military theater, Hassan Hosni was transferred to the El-Hakim theater which witnessed his first steps presenting many plays, including the "Orabi" play with the director Nabil al-Alfi, the "boat that goes" play with director Noor Aldemardash and other plays that have achieved Good theater audience’ impressions. In addition to these plays, Hosni presented the "empty words" play with the director Samir Asfoury, which lasted for 6 months - a record by its time standards where his success led to his transition to the national theater and to the modern theater later on, where he achieved another success in His professional career – that enabled him to work in the private sector’s theaters in the early seventies, as he joined the Tahia Karioka band, where he worked for 9 years - during which he performed his most beautiful plays (according to his own description), including "Robabikia" and "The Building Owner.

After his absence in the Gulf, Hassan Hosni returned to the theater in the mid-80s, when he presented "The sidewalk" with Suheir al-Babli and his life’s friend “Hassan Abdeen”. He, then, joined some of the most important plays of the nineties that witnessed - in its end - the rise of “the new comedians” such as “hazemny ya” (1994) with Vivi Abdo, Medhat Saleh, Sherif Mounir & Mohamed Heneidy, “Afrotto” with Henedi (1999), “When dad sleeps” with Alaa Wali El Din (2002) and “Sabahh Sabbahh” with Mohamed Saad (2017).


The American independent cinema has its singularity to stand against the studio system, to inspire new and independent waves of cinema all over the world, that’s why Sharm El-Sheikh Film Festival decided that American independent cinema will be the guest of honor of the 2018 edition. 

The Festival welcomes the American director and producer Izzy Chan, who will show her documentary "The Big Flip" about American families in which women are the bread winners.

Two other independent films will be screened too in their Egypt premiere thanks to the American Film Showcase: "Chef", written and directed by Jon Favreau and "Custody", directed by James Lapine.



By: Safaa El-Leithi


Translated by: Fadi Ghali


The director “Ali Badrakhan” is proud to be raised in the house of his father, the great director Ahmed Badrakhan, as since he was a primary student, he has been filming and participating in contests. He lived in a house built on a piece of land that was a part of a studio premises. In his childhood he played in shooting sets and editing rooms. He got tied to the cinema profession and practiced in simple - but crucial - jobs in cinematography, such as measuring light exposure, installing camera lenses, riding a chariot and moving like the most talented operator. He learned carpentry in location sets and When one of his carpentry workers travels, he gets him on his way back his gift, a carpenter’s hammer.


Ali Badrakhan has grown up with an early sense of film, camera and editing - where he is way different from his generation filmmakers, and this is why he began his career before them five years earlier - through the Cinema professional & technical craftsmanship entrance.


Ali made his debut film "The Love That Was" in 1973 after 7 years as an assistant director from 1967 until 1974. As for his last film as assistant director - “The bird” - was directed by Youssef Chahine, with whom he assisted in the film direction of the "The Choice” film in 1971." Shahine used to dub him as "Dokdok" (one of the Egyptian cinema characters who became a symbol for young brilliant boys).


What distinguishes Badrakhan from his generation is not only his early work in cinema and filmmaking craftsmanship, but also his involvement in the public work – where he began with training young people on the weapons use in the popular people’s resistance of 1967. He then connected to the Palestinian cause and volunteered as a media advisor to the Palestinian Red Crescent to work with children and young people for democratic knowledge rehabilitation through civic social work, as he turned a part of his home to the Society of "Little Eagles’ Nursery" to apply this idea. A nursery and a library in the house where he lived until recently, when he was forced to sell it to survive because of the lack of work, in a time where Film production became scarce.


A third aspect of his difference from his generation, is that he is committed to teaching filmmaking to the Film Institute students, in addition to public work practice - through the Cinema syndicate - as a council member elected from his colleagues for years and active with them against the anti-democratic law 103. Badrakhan does not just claim to be an ideologist or a filmmaker who deals with major issues on the big screen, but he is biased to it in real life first, then secondly in his films. This public work indulgence may be the reason that reduced his filmmaking rate, that did not exceed ten films, where its last was in 2002.


"The Love That Was" was the Badrakhan’s debut film with a screenplay written by the late Raafat Al Meihi, and his last was "The Desire" adapted from the American play (a vehicle called Desire). In between, Badrakhan introduced two broad film types: the social realist cinema, and the political criticism cinema ranging from comedy to tragedy.


Badrakhan is one of the few directors who provide a psychological analysis for the sexual relationship between men and women - in a mature vision that reflects an understanding of this instinct, not as a sin but as a seductress of human beings who surrender to her in order to stick to life itself.


"The Love That Was" film is about a real story narrated by the director to the screenplay writer Raafat Al Mehi. The film won the Critics’ Award, and I remember that I stopped at the love making scene that he portrayed in romance between the wife and her lover, and on the other side, her disgusted sex practice with the husband feeling raped. A different approach from previous films in Egyptian cinema focused on the treason horror stereotype and its portrayal as a sin that deserves punishment, in the end of course. "The whole film is a condemnation against all the classes and their absurd logic, introduced to public by Raafat al-Mehy and Ali Badrakhan in the 1960s, and still its ideas are still being debated among contemporary youth in the third millennium, but their ideas are conservative and reactionary - disguised in a false religious dress." Safaa El Lithy – Cinema World


Samir Farid wrote: "The film deals with violent & heavy criticism of ancient traditions and concepts of love, sex and marriage - through a love story that is hampered by these traditions and concepts ... At first there is an awakening dream, in which Maha / Souad Hosni conceives during sex with her husband that there’s people pushing her to put lipstick on her mouth. This -wide angel shot - dream, seems to be a strong expression of a failed marriage where sex -despite legitimacy - becomes a kind of prostitution ...


"Farid writes this paragraph in black with a note: the published lines in black have been banned from the article by the censorship when it was first published in the Republic Newspaper (El Gomhuriah) (3/1/1974).”


When critic Samir Farid wrote about the film, I was in the year before my graduation from the Higher Institute of Cinema (Film Editing 1975) & I and my generation were all attending the Egyptian Film Critics' Association screenings and I witnessed Badrakhan awarded the Critics’ Award for his Debut film. When Later on the “Samir Farid & Samy El Salamony critics’ articles” were gathered about the 80’s filmmakers’ generation - dubbing them the new Egyptian realism filmmakers - including Khairi Bishara, Atef al-Tayeb and Mohammed Khan - they were preceded by Ali Badrakhan already earlier in production, who joined the bunch later, especially with his films "The People of the Summit” in 1981 and "The Hunger” in 1986, starting with Naguib Mahfouz stories - projecting his artistic political vision in reality as a Sadat Regime’s opposite & a Palestinian Liberation Organization’s supporter.


According to his methodology, Samir Farid made an interpretation of Ali Badrakhan films in the light of Egypt & its artists’ political & social background in a period “he called the era of the transformations (1967-1981)”, which was characterized by the defeat of June 1967 and its impact on the sixties generation, and extends through the death of Nasser, the Peace treaty with Israel harshly rejected by Badrakhan’s generation, along with the openness’ policies in late 70’s ending up with Sadat’s assassination in 1981, and the also journey’s start line of the eighties cinema for Badrakhan group and his generation.


About "Al Karnak" film


Abdel-Aal Al-Hamamsi asked Naguib Mahfouz: "The Karnak" is based on your novel with the same title. Did the film fulfill your vision implied in the novel? I say this because you always say that your relationship ends with any adapted-on-your-novels-film, with the end of writing your novel?” Mahfouz then replied with obvious enthusiasm: "The film fulfilled the vision of my novel to a great extent, and added: specially the coverage of the period following the writing of the story itself ... The film condemns terrorism, and it is inconceivable for some to believe that condemning terrorism is a condemnation of the revolution. The film glorifies the rectification revolution which is a part of the July Revolution track and its achievements.)


 Al-Hamamsi Interview with Mahfouz published in Al-Kawakeb magazine 6 April 1976.


"My message in Karnak was that oppression and suppression are the cause of our defeats”,


Ali Badrakhan.


"Shafiqa and Metwally" 1978


under the title "politicizing the saga and renewing the form" wrote Siham al Salam:


An important question about the film known story of the popular saga, what new can director Ali Badrakhan bring to the audience of a film who know its story in advance?


Ali Badrakhan solved this dilemma on two levels. At the moral level, the director and the screenwriter Salah Jahine moved out with the story from the personal social frame - the shame-motived murder - to the general political framework, as Shafiqa died in the film as a victim of a political assassination. As for the outlook frame, Badrakhan has used two key tools to present the film's narrative in a new and attractive way: the first tool was the narrator and the second was the choreography tool." So far, Siham Abdul Salam's presentation ends before analyzing the film to prove what she concluded.


And till now, we still enjoy watching, “Banu 3ala asloko Banu” the important film song, in which Jahine critizes the ruling layer portrayed in “Afandina” (The ruler’s Character) played by Gamil Rateb. The Egyptian viewer, in particular, and the Arab in general find it expressive of his envision of the corrupt rulers’ stereotype across ages.


And under the general atmosphere background for the situations, the critic wrote that the film didn’t introduce his 2 heroes in political emptiness, but on the contrary, it perfectly portrayed the situation atmosphere prior to the Suez Canal digging.


Badrakhan says about it: "I found that contemporary issues can be discussed through the old folkloric myth, such as the East-West relationship and the openness to the West that has happened in the past and is already happening now. The film also portrays the horrors met by the peasants who digged Suez Canal. The film explains what the peasants suffered due to their inability to defend themselves.”


This interpretation comes on the lips of a doctor who symbolizes the educated class, as he says to Metwally: "The human being has value, but he needs to defend it and he must not be bought or sold." The critic focused on the symbolic interpretation of signs found in the film such as fire and candles, the locations’ choice, such as mating in the barn among the animals, symbolizing how animalistic, filthy and low this relationship is. Badrakhan made a popular epic of an excellent choreographed film ... He perfectly used choreography & songs - not for free entertainment, but it fitted in place and played roles in the drama structure and situations’ sequences.


Siham Abdel Salam cinema world 2007


"I control the viewer, point him to of what he sees, as if I take his hand and tell him: come see with me." Ali Badrakhan


"The People of the Summit"


With this film, which takes place in the same year of its production without any past flash backs, Ali Badrakhan became - despite his young age - one of the leading Egyptian filmmakers. His realistic and simple style features the details that portray the story. We are aware of the nature of the market in the light of openness’ policies, when Zaghloul asks Zaatar to steal a check he gave to another trader, and when Zaghloul puts plans to evade customs in the free zone in Port Said, we recognize the role of "important men" in protecting smugglers.


the censorship cut this scene from the film copies.


“The great success of the "The People of the Summit " film, confirms that the Egyptian cinema audience – as every other audience - needs realistic cinema too, but when he finds it.”, Ali Badrakhan.


Samir Farid: The Cinema Club Bulletin 20/7/1981


"The People of the Summit", succeeded commercially and critically. Ali Badrakhan set foot with the new Egyptian realism group (Atef El Tayeb, Mohamed Khan, Khairy Bishara, Rafat El Mehyi) and fused with them. Then, the realism cinema will take an epic form in Badrakhan’s film "The Hunger", as in earlier Shafiqa and Metwally", before returning to his passion for uncovering the depths of the human soul. Ali Badrakhan, the understanding learner, then, returned to the of relationship nature between his tragic male hero and his beautiful women in "The Shepherd and The Women".


 "The Hunger" 1986


As in “Shafeeqa and Metwally, Badrakhan went back in time to the late 19th century in 1888 - as documented in his film titles - and succeeded in tracing the hunger roots - sticking to our ancestors from immemorial time - as when the fortune teller foretells famine, the secret stores are filled with grains, goods disappeared from markets dramatically, along with the prices hysterically going high of inflation - the banner of justice raised by the great grandfather, Fadl al-Jabali, falls down and the bully steps on the necks of poor people and ignores the advice of his good brother, Jabir al-Jabali  (played by Abdel Aziz Makhyon) – with whom Zubaydah, Soad Hosni -  finds refuge and shelter until he marries her, in order to cover her pregnancy scandal from Mahrous and when She puts her baby, she names him Fadl after their great grandfather.


Faryal Kamel chose to focus on the role of Souad Hosni and her article title was "The moon twin that charmingly radiates even after her departure" and stated that Badrakhan’s  “Hunger" - based on “Haravish” epic novel by Naguib Mahfouz, formulated in screenplay by co-scriptwriters Mustafa Muharram and Tariq al-Mirghani with Badrakhan - was keen to portray the female characters in the film based on women status awareness, reflecting their social and of economic conditions.


In "The Hunger," Badrakhan retained the names of the characters, as Mahfouz - the master of Drama character names summarizing their most important characteristics – wrote them. Badrakhan also worked with Muharram and Marghani in constructing a drama that extends the idea to the beginning of the conflict between good and evil - where “Fadl” symbolizes for “Adam” and his two sons: the good & the evil “Abel and Kane”  in an ally location set built by Salah Maree - shot in subsequent films with slight modifications – that went famous even more than “Al-Azima” film’s popular ally -  reflecting the ongoing struggle in Egypt this time, between corrupt and instinctive exploiters from a side and self-satisfied poor people on the other side, but they are able to assemble and defend their dignity and rights – exactly the same as the film director believes in real life out the of screen - expressing endless hope in his film no matter how long evil prevails – summarizing it in the final scene of the poor assembly holding sticks declaring the release of Jaber from capture, while Zubaida is looking to her son with eyes full of hope.


"The script is the most important stage of a movie. In a feature film, it takes nine months starting with the idea, then working on the treatment and developing it, then writing an initial version of the script, then developing it."


"I have a lot of projects on hold, and the reason is that I think of films that satisfy my artistic ego, and always collide with many obstacles, the major issues need large supporters, unlike normal films, there must be parties convinced that this film has great value and deserves support ... Arabs spend lavishly money on many luxuries & accessories, but when we talk about a serious issue, no one cares - including my project on Mohamed Naguib, the first president of Egypt after the revolution of July 52. It should have been produced by the cinema Device, and we started its preparations several years ago, but it stopped, and I hope to complete it to present the reality of Mohammed Naguib's role in July revolution.”


About The film critic qualifications, Badrakhan says: "to be a student of film criticism", a cinema art student, a cinema historian, a cinema craftsmanship student, and a student of all branches of film art. "


"When I criticize political and social situations through my films, I do this with the aim of building, not demolishing, and I sincerely believe that cinematographer cannot be a good artist if he is not committed to his national causes and his people’s suffering."


"I have moved away from the filmmaking for several reasons, the most important of which is that the current market conditions do not suit me, and I cannot work except on my terms and according to the standards I have been working since I started my film career, where I dealt with the best D.O.P.s and the best editors. Also, the producers reject the films I give them, because they see it inappropriate for the current situation. " 


"The state is responsible for the production of large non-profit production films, such as historical films and films that document October War and laws must be issued to protect the industry and support filmmakers."


"I teach filmmaking workshop at the Cinema Institute and I instruct my students to do exercises they execute in the way they choose. It is important for the student to practice by himself ... The institute has many experts but it has to be organized in a general system so the +-professors’ efforts don’t go in vein and there has to be an integration between what each professor teaches in different departments. "


Badrakhan is currently involved in the teaching of cinema at a private institution “Caliber Academy”, free of rules imposed on professors of the Higher Institute of Cinema at the Academy of Arts - affiliated with the Egyptian Ministry of Culture. He teaches filmmaking through film industry workshops – that started in 2015 and continues with titles chosen by Badrakhan - according to his vision and what he sees fit for market needs. At the end of each workshop, all graduation projects are shown to a committee of Cinematic Professions Syndicate members and directors of artistically approved films are granted Syndicate associate membership.




- Film director, producer and professor at the department of directing at the Higher Institute of Cinema.


- Born April 25, 1946 in Cairo, the only son of Ahmad Badrakhan (Kurdish origin), and of the actress Salwa Allam and has one sister, Mrs. Rukaya.


He got married 3 times, the first was to Diva “Souad Hosni” and they didn’t have kids. His second from his cousin, Mrs. Hala Salah Mustafa, mother of sons: Ahmed, Mutasim Bilallah and Badrakhan. He then married his student Sally Al-Rashidi and gave birth to a child “Judy” named after a Kurdish mountain.




The Desire (2002) - Director


Nazwa (1996) - Director


The Third Man (1995) - Director


The Shepherd and The Women (1991) - Director and author


The Hunger (1986) - Director


The people of the summit (1981) - Director


Shafika and Metwally (1978) - Director


Chayelni and Ashayelak (1977) - Director


The Karnak (1975) - Director


The Love that was - (1974) Director


The Bird (1974) - Assistant Director


Nadia (1969) - Assistant Director


The Land of Hypocrisy (1968) - Assistant Director


The Other Half (1967) - Assistant Director


Awards and honors


- The film "The Love That Was" was awarded to the Egyptian Film Critics Association (EFCA) as the best film screened in Egypt in 1973.


- For the film "Karnak" 1975, he received several awards, including the first prize for directing from the Egyptian Ministry of Culture and a special award in directing as the best film of the film association.


- The film "Shafiqa and Metwally" 1978 won several awards, including the State Award as the best film, the Bronze Tanat Award at the Carthage International Festival in Tunisia, and the prizes of the Egyptian Film Critics Association and the film association.


- "The People of the Summit" 1981 received several awards, including the State Award as the best film and the prize of the Egyptian Film Critics Association and the film association.


- Awarded the best film and best director from the Alexandria International Film Festival, Best Director of the National Film Festival 1992, prizes of the Film Society and the Egyptian Film Society.


- 2004 State Award for Excellence in Arts from the Supreme Council of Egyptian Culture.


- 2017 Merit Award by the Supreme Council of Culture at the Egyptian Ministry of Culture.


Study References


- "The Director of the Transitions Time" by the critic Samir Farid - Released in honor of Badrakhan at the National Festival of Egyptian Cinema in 2006.


- A study on Ali Badrakhan published by the critics of "The World of Cinema" 2007 titled “Angry Ali Badrakhan”, Interviewed by Siham Abdul Salam and Safa Al-Leithi and articles on the most important films.


- A brief study written by Mona Al-Mogy in Masrawy website.


- Fayza Hindawi Interview with him from Tahrir site.