A brilliant film told in neo-realist style that inserts social commentary to the tale of a limping human existence. Such is the resonance of the truncated Qinawi (a towering performance by Chahine himself) that all social pathologies of the Egyptian society in its lame modernization take the back seat as Qinawi's search for love turns into an unattainable ideal, like the absent gaze of the young girl on the street.
This true classic of egyptian cinema is worth its reputation. The framing and constent movement make it a great entertainment. Lots of fantastic faces, secondary stories, and nice camera work. It makes you want to know more about Chahine, almost the same way i wanted to watch more films from Satyajit Ray the minute i discovered him. I don´t understand why "world cinema" sounds a bit pejorative.
No puedo dejar de pensar en "Arroz amargo", de De Santis, al ver este relato infausto de rasgos neorrealistas que, además de hurgar sobre un conflicto proletario, rebela una carga erótica, a propósito de la presencia de una personaje que funciona como objeto de deseo encantando con su cnoquetería y baile. Lo cierto es que el protagonista es un hombre perverso, dócil públicamente, repulsivo para el espectador.
Character piece full of atmosphere and suspense to rival Hitchcock. This is a great film. A social and cultural doceument of a Cairo in which there was great poverty but also great vibrancy and community. This is a horror/ thriller which is told with great Egyptian affection.
Shattering. What a wonderful film! Knives hanging down on strings two days after I saw similar menacingly shiny shots in Hark Tsui's "Blade", and the slow-burning athanor of heat, youth customs and political earthquakes, sensual teasing and underskin magmatic unrest the man who was denied love is forced to undergo for he lacked the essential beauteous quality the Middle Ages called integritas: bodily whole(some)ness.
An empty carriage creating suspense; a filled one flashing with limbs for communal dance; undercarriages in motion = danger; stationary = hiding place for young girls in bloom; warehouses filled with bales of hay = amorous hide & seek; empty = deadly cat & mouse. What is amazing about this film full of stock types is that each subplot, each mood in the crazy array of moods seems spontaneously generated by location!
What an odd film. It almost reminds me of Bunuel's Los Olvidados in the way it combines neorealism with a grotesque quality. The editing and cinematography is amazing at times. Chahine also impresses on both sides of the camera here. Great film, but sadly underrated.