Namibia: Commemoration of Youssef Chahine in Namibia on Saturday

ON Saturday Independence Avenue Films is featuring works by Youssef Chahine, screened in partnership with the Namibia Arts Association Trust and Turipamwe Design.

These screenings are aimed at celebrating the birthday of the internationally renowned Egyptian director Youssef Chahine - 25 January 1926.

They include 'The Land' (Egypt, 1969), 'Chaos' (Egypt, 2007) and the documentary film 'Hamlet from Alexandria', directed by Mona Ghandour, which details Chahine's childhood and his relationship with the character Hamlet.

Screenings of Chahine's films are being held across Africa from 24 until 26 January, including all governorates in Egypt and in 30 African countries such as Sudan, Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tunisia, Namibia and Libya.

Chahine is widely considered the leading pioneer of film-making in Egypt and the Middle East. With a distinctive brand of cinema and a truth-seeking lens, Youssef Chahine has time and time again focused on intricate topics seldom discussed before in Egyptian cinema and never presented with such honesty.

Chahine quickly rose to star status and became the preferred director for large-scale (historical) productions but his vision of the cinema was too personal and uncompromising for him to be instrumentalised for a long time. After difficulties with the censors and a period of exile in Lebanon, at the beginning of the 1970s, he founded his own production company Misr International, with which he was able to undertake increasingly political and daring projects.

For decades Chahine remained at the forefront of the industry, which was due to his reliance on new faces and new blood that reinvigorated his artistry and led up to his final work, 'Chaos'.

At the 50th anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival, Chahine was awarded a prize for his lifetime achievement.

The screenings will take place at the Namibia Arts Association Trust, 10 - 14 Macadam Street in Windhoek. Entrance is free. Donations are welcome. Snacks and drinks will be available.

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