el-Ard (The Land)

Thu 23 Oct at 6.45pm

Youssef Chahine | Egypt | 1969 | 2h10m | 35mm | Arabic with English subtitles | 15

As a tribute to the Egyptian master Youssef Chahine who passed away on 27 July this year, Africa in Motion 2008 opens with his classic film The Land. The film, adapted from Abdel Rahman al-Sharqawi's well-known novel of the same name, was eight years in the making. Chronicling a small peasant village's struggles against the careless inroads of the large local landowner, The Land shows why political oppression does not necessarily lead to a sense of solidarity among the disinherited.

This contemplative, epic film about feudalism in rural regions was voted the best Egyptian film ever made in a recent poll of Egyptian film critics.

Festival director Lizelle Bisschoff will open AiM 2008 and introduce the screening of The Land. Audience members are invited to the AiM opening celebration in the Filmhouse café after the screening. Thank you to Corporate Wine UK for generously sponsoring the wine for the opening reception.

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