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.

Other movies from Egypt made in

Title Country Year Director More infos
Our Preacher Egypt 2016 Magdy Ahmed Aly
Il Hay Yrawah (War Reporter) Egypt, Libya, Tunisia 2013 Mohamed Amine Boukhris
We Are the Bus People Egypt 1979 Hussein Kamal
Thartharah fawq al-Nil (Adrift on the Nile) Egypt 1971 Hussein Kamal
Emberatoriet Meem (Empire M) Egypt 1972 Hussein Kamal
The Virgin and The White Hair Egypt 1983 Hussein Kamal
Abi foq al-Shagara (My Father is on the Tree) Egypt 2015 Hussein Kamal
Iskandariyya…leh? (Alexandria…why?) Egypt 1979 Youssef Chahine
Bab al-Hadid (Cairo Station) Egypt 1958 Youssef Chahine
El Akhar (The Other) Egypt 1999 Youssef Chahine
Al-massir (Destiny) Egypt 1997 Youssef Chahine
Sira’ Fi al-Wadi (Struggle in the Valley) Egypt 1954 Youssef Chahine
Ghabi Mino Fih Egypt 2004 Rami Imam
Amir El Zalam Egypt 2002 Rami Imam
Sobyan Wa Banat “On Boys, Girls and the Veil” Egypt 1995 Yusri Nasrallah
Marcides “Mercedes” Egypt 1993 Yusri Nasrallah
Sarikat Sayfeya “Summer Thefts” Egypt 1988 Yusri Nasrallah
Henna Night Egypt 2015 Sally El Hosaini
Bits and Pieces Egypt 2009 Jackie Sawiris
House of Saud Egypt 2004 Jihan El-Tahri
Cuba, An African Odyssey Egypt 2007 Jihan El-Tahri
Behind the Rainbow Egypt 2008 Jihan El-Tahri
Nasser Egypt 2015 Jihan El-Tahri
The Sin Egypt 1965 Henry Barakat
The Nightingale’s Prayer Egypt, Miscellaneous 1959 Henry Barakat
A Man In Our House Egypt 1961 Henry Barakat
Mouths and Rabbits Egypt 1977 Henry Barakat
The Open Door Egypt 1964 Henry Barakat
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