La Anam (Egypt: 1957)

Director

Salah Abou Seif

Cast list

Faten Hamama = Nadia Lutfi

Yehia Chahine = Nadia’s Father

Omar Sharif = Aziz (Nadia’s uncle)

Mariem Fakhr El Dine = Safia (first step mother)

Imad Hamdi = Mustafa (Nadia’s lover)

Hind Rostom = Kawthar (seconde step mother)

Rushdy Abaza= Samir (Kawthar’s lover)

Credits

Ihsan Abdel Quddous = author of the novel La Anam

Salah Ez El Dine and Sayed Bedeir = scenario

Saleh Gawdat = dialogue

Fouad El-Zahry = music

Abdelhalim Nasr and Mahmoud Nasr = cinematography

Synopsis

The film starts with the voice of the main character Nadia Lutfi (Faten Hamama) as the narrator. She confesses her tendency to cause trouble and hurt others on purpose and her fear of God’s revenge. Her guilt makes her unable to sleep. Her parents divorced when she was only two years old and she was raised by her wealthy father (Yehia Chahine). She grows up in an upper-class family and lives in a big house with her father and her uncle Aziz (Omar Sharif), who is only a few years older than her. When Nadia is sixteen, her father marries Safia (Mariem Fakhr El Dine) a charming and loving woman, of whom Nadia is extremely jealous. Frustrated, she starts an affair with a man twice her age, Mustafa (Imad Hamdi), but her bitterness doesn’t decrease. Quite the contrary: she thinks that her step-mother will also steal Mustafa. From that point on, Nadia does everything in her power to make her father believe that Safia is cheating on him with his own brother Aziz. When her plan succeeds, her father becomes miserable; he divorces Safia and throws his brother out of the house. Their reputation is damaged. Consumed by remorse, Nadia decides to find another wife for her father. He marries Kawthar (Hind Rostom) a voluptuous young lady who used to attend school with Nadia. Very early on in the marriage, Nadia discovers that Kawthar is unfaithful to her father and is only with him for his fortune, but she doesn’t do anything about it because she doesn’t want him to be unhappy again. She even helps Kawthar hide her adultery. An unfortunate turn of events gets her father to think that the lover of his wife, Samir (Rushdy Abaza), is the suitor of his daughter. Nadia is now forced to marry Samir to hide her step-mother secret and to keep her father happy. She tries to get Safia back but finds out that she’s engaged to Mustafa. The night of her wedding with Samir, Nadia cracks. She screams that she doesn’t want him and runs to her room. There, after asking if there will be a party, a child leaves a lit candle close to Nadia feet. Her white dress catches fire but she is saved by her father and her uncle. In the hospital, her lower body burned, she confesses everything to them. They forgive her but she is still afraid of God’s judgment.

Reviews

Abd Alaziz Kmal, Tarek. “لاانم….وعقدة الكترا…”, Elcinema, 10 October 2012, [On Line]  https://www.elcinema.com/review/1236104.

Bardin, Philippe. “Je ne dors pas (La Anam, 1957)”, Ciné le Caire, 24 February 2017, [On line] http://cinemaegyptien.blogspot.com.br/2017/02/je-ne-dors-pas-la-anam-1957.html.

IMDb, “La Anam: User Reviews”, 22 June 2005 and 27 December 2006, [On line] http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0355674/reviews.

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