El Akhar (The Other) (Egypt: 1999)

Director

Youssef Chahine

Cast list

Nabila Ebeid as Margaret
Mahmoud Hemida as Khalil
Hanan Tork as Hanane
Hani Salama as Adam
Lebleba as Baheyya
Hassan Abdel Hamid as Dr. Maher
Ezzat Abou Aouf as Dr. Essam
Ahmed Fouad Selim as Ahmed
Amr Saad as Omar
Ahmed Wafik as Fathallab
Edward Said as Himself
Hamdeen Sabahi as Chief Editor
Tamer Samir as Morcy

Credits

Written by: Youssef Chahine and Khaled Youssef
Edited by: Rashida Abdel Salam
Music by: Yehia Al Mougi
Cinematography: Mohsen Nasr

Synopsis

Although separated by class and power, Hanane and Adam are deeply in love with one another. Hanane is a journalist from a middle-class Egyptian family, working for a campaign against an elite and corrupt family. There is rampant corruption in Egypt and American interests are gaining control of the nation’s profitable tourism market. Adam’s wealthy family and friends in the government thrive at the heart of this system. His mother tries to emotionally smother and control him, ultimately seeking to rid her family of Hanane. However, Adam’s overwhelming love for his wife foils his mother’s plans and causes him to reject the very globalization his family advocates. Through Hanane’s campaign, Adam sees the greed of the international community and the invisible bonds that tie them to fundamentalist factions within Egypt. Committed to each other and resistant against the nation’s corruption, the couple faces the consequences of making powerful enemies within the Egyptian private sector and international community. This drama seeks to expose the links between power and fanaticism, and denounces intolerance in a bitter portrayal of the Egyptian business world. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section of the 1999 Cannes Film Festival.

Reviews

Grunes. The Other (Youssef Chahine, 1999). Dennis Grunes. (blog)

Holden, Stephen. El Akhar (1999): A Wicked Mother-in-Law With Treachery in Mind. The New York Times. (newspaper)

Gordon, Joel. Chaos and Cinema: A Revolutionary Coda. Bustan: The Middle East Book Review, Vol. 4, Iss. 2 (2013), pp. 99-112.

Massad, Joseph. Review Essay and Interview: Art and Politics in the Cinema of Youssef Chahine. Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 28, No. 2 (Winter 1999), pp. 77-93.