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Other Versions of this Movie

The Night of Counting the Years

1969

Egyptian critics consistently list "The Night of Counting the Years" (also known as "The Mummy") as one of the most important Egyptian films, and perhaps the most important one, but it remains largely unknown, both within Egypt and elsewhere, despite winning a number of awards at European film festivals. Set in 1881, on the eve of British colonial rule, it is based on a true story: an Upper Egyptian clan had been robbing a cache of mummies near the village of Qurna, and selling the artifacts on the black market. After a conflict within the clan, one of its members went to the police, helping the Antiquities Service find the cache. The film casts this story in terms of the search for an authentic, lost Egyptian national identity (represented by the neglected and misunderstood artifacts of ancient Egyptian civilization), but the conflict between city and countryside suggests questions that are not resolved in the film, making it an ambiguous, unsettling reflection on the price of identity. Unusual camera angles, striking colours and slow editing give the film a dreamlike quality, reinforced by Mario Nascimbene's eerie music. For those who know Arabic, the dialogue is entirely in classical Arabic, which adds to the sense of unreality. This release includes separate files containing subtitles in English and Arabic (the latter are for those who are learning the language). To watch the film with subtitles, first click on the "All Files: HTTP" link on the left side of this page. You will see a long list of files. Download the two video files, whose names end in AVI, and the four subtitle files, whose names end in SRT, by right-clicking on each one and choosing "Save Link As...". You can then watch them with a media player that supports subtitle files, such as VideoLAN. (The Arabic subtitles are in UTF-8 encoding.) There is also a higher-quality DVD version, available as two DVD ISO files, without subtitles.


The Night of Counting the Years, a.k.a. The Mummy (Arabic language Al-Mummia المومياء) is a 1969 Egyptian film directed by Shadi Abdel Salam. It was Salam's first feature film.< name="sffs.org"></> Egyptian critics consistently list it as one of the most important Egyptian films ever made.<></> The film was selected as the Egyptian entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 43rd Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.

Plot

Set in 1881, before a year of History of modern Egypt#British occupation, it is based on the true story of the Abd el-Rasuls, an Sa'idi people clan that had been robbing a Treasure trove of mummies discovered at tomb DB320 near the village of Kurna, and selling the artefacts on the illicit antiquities black market. After a conflict within the clan, one of its members goes to the police, helping the Antiquities Service find the cache.

Symbolism

The film casts its story in terms of the search for an authentic, lost Egypt#Identity, represented by the neglected and misunderstood artifacts of Ancient Egypt. However, the conflict between city and countryside suggests questions that are not resolved in the film, making it an ambiguous, unsettling lection on the price of identity.

Visual style

Its slow Pace (speed), unusual camera angles and striking colours give the film a dreamlike quality, reinforced by Mario Nascimbene's eerie Film score. Moreover, the dialogue is entirely in classical Arabic, a very unusual trait for an Egyptian film, which adds to the sense of unreality.

See also

  • Grave robbing
  • List of submissions to the 43rd Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film
  • List of Egyptian submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film

Bibliography





  • Category:1960s drama films
    Category:1969 films
    Category:Egyptian films
    Category:Films set in Egypt
    Category:Films set in the 1880s
    Category:Films based on actual events
    Category:Egyptology
    Category:Arabic-language films
    Category:Directorial debut films
    Category:Films directed by Shadi Abdel Salam
  • 4.50
    Shadi Abd Al-Salam

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