Salah Abo-Seif صلاح أبو سيف was one of the most famous Egyptian film directors. He is considered to be the Godfather of the realistic cinema السينما الواقعية in Egypt. Many of his films are considered Egyptian classics. Seventeen films of those that he directed were adapted from Arabic novels and short stories. His film ‘Bidayah wa Nihayah’ بداية و نهاية (Start and end) (1960) was the first film adapted from a novel by the Nobel Prize winner Naguib Mahfouz نجيب محفوظ .
Abo-Seif was born on may, 10th 1915 in a small village in Beni Suef بني سويف . He worked in a textile company in Mahallah. He was interested in artistic journalism and read a lot about the cinema, music, logic and psychology. In Mahallah, he met the famous director مخرج Niyazi Mustafa who helped him to move to Misr Studio أستوديو مصر in 1936 where he worked as chairman رئيس of the Montage Department قسم المونتاج for ten years.
In 1939, Abo-Seif traveled to Franceto study the art of the cinema but he returned quickly because of the Second World War الحرب العالمية الثانية . In 1946, Abo-Seif directed his first novel film هو دائماً في قلبي (He is always in my heart) which is cited from the movie جسر واترلو (Waterloo Bridge). After that he traveled to Italy and returned to Egypt in 1950. he was greatly affected by the realism الواقعية in the Italian cinema and insisted on moving the experience to the Egyptian cinema. He was also affected by the Russian cinema and participated in writing the scenario to all of his films. Abo-Seif was appointed as the first chairman to the first cinema company in the public sector القطاع العام from 1961 to 1965. He died on June 22nd 1996.
Salah Abo-Seif presented more than 40 films to the Egyptian cinema and won so many prizes. Here are some of his greatest films:
1- لك يوم يا ظالم (Your Day Will Come) – 1951
2- ريا و سكينة (Raya and Sekina) – 1953
3- الوحش (The Monster) – 1954
4- شباب امرأة (A Woman’s Youth) – 1956
5- الفتوة (The Tough) – 1957
6- أنا حرة (I Am Free) – 1959
7- بداية و نهاية (A Start and an End) – 1960
8- القاهرة 30 (Cairo 30) – 1966
9 – الزوجة الثانية (The Second Wife) – 1967
10 – شيء من العذاب (A bit of Torture) – 1969
11- لوعة الحب (Agony of Love) – 1960
12- فجر الإسلام (Dawn of Islam) – 1971
13- المجرم (The Criminal) – 1978
14- المواطن مصري (the Citizen is Egyptian) – 1991
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