The Open Door (Egypt: 1964)


Henry Barakat

Cast list

Faten Hamama          Laila

Mahmoud Mousy      Husband (Dr. Fouad)

Saleh Selim                 Hussain

Shuwikar                     Gamila

Hassan Youssef          Isam



Writing Credits: Lutfiah Elzayaat and Yussef Issa


The Open Door is a love story with political undertones. It tells the story of Layla, who struggles with the modern versus traditional dichotomy. She is the “modern woman—“ she wants to marry for love, but her parents insist on marrying her off to her cousin and force their views of how a woman should act on her. She resists and finds power in participating in anti-British demonstrations. It was not originally well-received, which Barakat believed was the result of a patriarchal society not ready to embrace the idea of women’s liberation.


Reviews and Articles:
Morgan, Marwa. Cairo International Film Festival celebrates Egyptian director Henry Barakat. Daily News Egypt (online newspaper)

Academic Articles:
Buskirk, Wesley D. (2015) “Egyptian Film and Feminism: Egypt’s View of Women Through Cinema,” Cinesthesia: Vol. 4: Iss. 2, Article 1.