Salah Abu Seif

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Salah Abu Seif
Born(1915-05-10)May 10, 1915
DiedJune 23, 1996(1996-06-23) (aged 81)
Occupation(s)Film director, screenwriter

Salah Abu Seif (Arabic: صلاح أبو سيف, Ṣalāḥ Abū Sayf) (May 10, 1915 – June 23, 1996) was one of the most famous Egyptian film directors, and is considered to be the godfather of Neorealist cinema in Egyptian cinema. Many of the 41 films he directed are considered Egyptian classics with 11 films in the Top 100 Egyptian films list. His film The Beginning and the End (1960) was the first adaptation of a novel by Nobel Prize winner Naguib Mahfouz. In 1977 he was a member of the jury at the 10th Moscow International Film Festival.[1]

Early life[edit]

Abu-Seif was born in 1915, in Cairo's ancient quarter of Boolaq, to landowning parents from Upper Egypt. He was 12 years old when he saw the first full- length feature film made by an Egyptian, in 1927, at a local movie-house - earlier films were imports accompanied by Egyptian narrations, or made by Europeans living in Egypt. As the son of a conservative family, Abu-Seif graduated from the Cairo College of Commerce and Economics in 1932, while at the same time working as a freelance reporter following movie stars. But it was at his day job as a clerk in a factory that he met the Egyptian film-maker Niazy Mustapha, who was on a shoot there. Mustapha made him a film editor.

In 1939, Abu-Seif won a scholarship to study film in Paris. Within five years of his return in 1942, he had established himself as one of the most avant-garde second generation film-makers in the country. He pioneered shooting on location - though he also used reconstructions - in places none of his predecessors had dared to visit, like ghurza (the equivalent of old Chinese opium dens), brothels and impoverished areas whose existence had never been officially acknowledged.[2]


Year Title Arabic Title Notes
1946 Always in My Heart Dayman fi Qalbi دايماً في قلبي
1947 The Avenger Al-Muntaqim المنتقم
1948 The Adventures of Antar and Abla Mughamarat Antar wa Abla مغامرات عنتر وعبلة Nominated for "Grand Prize of the Festival" at the 1949 Cannes Film Festival
1948 Street of the Acrobat Sharia al-Bahlawan شارع البهلوان
1950 The Falcon Al-Sakr الصقر
1950 Love is a Problem Al-Hob Bahdala الحب بهدلة
1951 Your Day Will Come Lak Yawm Ya Zalem لك يوم يا ظالم
1952 Foreman Hassan Al-Osta Hassan الأسطى حسن
1953 Raya and Sekina Raya wa Sekina ريا وسكينة
1954 The Monster Al-Wahsh الوحش Nominated for "Grand Prize of the Festival" at the 1954 Cannes Film Festival
1956 A Woman's Youth Shabab Emraa شباب إمرأة Nominated for "Golden Palm" at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival
1957 The Tough Al-Fetewa الفتوة Nominated for "Golden Bear" at Berlin Film Festival
1957 The Empty Pillow Al-Wessada al-Khalia الوسادة الخالية
1957 Sleepless La Anam لا أنام
1958 Criminal on Holiday Mugrem fi Agaza مجرم في إجازة
1958 The Barred Road Al-Tarik al-Masdud الطريق المسدود
1958 This is the Love Haza Howa al-Hob هذا هو الحب
1959 I Am Free Ana Horra أنا حرة
1959 Between Heaven and Earth Bayn al-Samaa wa al-Ard بين السماء والأرض
1960 Agony of Love Lawet al-Hob لوعة الحب
1960 The Girls and the Summer Al-Banat wa al-Saif البنات والصيف
1960 The Beginning and an End Bidaya wa nihaya بداية ونهاية Nominated for "Grand Prix" at the 2nd Moscow International Film Festival[3]
1961 The Sun Will Never Set La Tutf'e al-Shams لا تطفىء الشمس
1962 Letter from an Unknown Woman Ressala Min Emraa Maghoula رسالة من إمرأة مجهولة
1963 No Time for Love La Wakt lil Hob لا وقت للحب
1966 Cairo 30 Al-Qahira 30 القاهرة 30
1967 The Second Wife Al-Zawga al-Thaniya الزوجة الثانية
1968 Three Women Thalath Nisa ثلاث نساء
1969 Case 68 Al-Qadia 68 القضية 68
1969 A Bit of Suffering Shia min al Azab شيء من العذاب
1971 Dawn of Islam Fajr al-Islam فجر الإسلام
1973 Malatily Bathhouse Hammam al-Malatily حمام الملاطيلي
1975 The Liar Al-Kadab الكداب
1976 First Year Love Sana Oula Hob سنة أولى حب
1977 She Fell in the Honey Sea Sakatat fi Bahr al-Asal سقطت في بحر العسل
1977 The Water-Carrier Is Dead Al-Saqqa Mat السقا مات Won "Best Film of the Year" at Egyptian Film Association
1978 The Criminal Al-Mugrem المجرم
1982 The Qadisiya Al-Qadisiya القادسية Nominated for "Golden Prize" at the 12th Moscow International Film Festival[4]
1986 The Beginning Al-Bidaya البداية
1991 The Egyptian Citizen Al-Moaten Masry المواطن مصري Nominated for "Golden St. George" at the 17th Moscow International Film Festival[5]
1994 Mr. Kaaf Al-Sayed Kaaf السيد كاف

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "10th Moscow International Film Festival (1977)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
  2. ^ "Obituary: Salah Abu-Seif". The Independent. 1996-06-27. Retrieved 2020-05-25.
  3. ^ "2nd Moscow International Film Festival (1961)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2012-11-04.
  4. ^ "12th Moscow International Film Festival (1981)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 2013-04-21. Retrieved 2013-01-25.
  5. ^ "17th Moscow International Film Festival (1991)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 2014-04-03. Retrieved 2013-03-02.

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