THE NIGHT OF COUNTING THE YEARS


Title   Cast   Director   Year Shown  Other Info    Country  Notes 


El Mumia

Egypt

Shown in 1971

CREDITS

dir
Shadi Abdelsalam
scr
Shadi Abdelsalam
cam
Abdel Aziz Fahmy
cast
Ahmed Marei, Shafic Noureddin, Nadia Loutfy, H. El-Hakim, Ahmed Hegazi, Mohamed Morshed, Gaby Karraz, Mohamed Khairi

OTHER

prod co
Egyptian National Film Organization, Cairo
source
Egyptian National Film Organization, Cairo
The Night of Counting the Years

Each year, the San Francisco Film Festival discovers the signs of genius in a new cinema movement, usually in a country where the traditions of local fadism and popular tastes have prevented creative work which can compete artistically and intellectually with international film art. The achievement of a young Egyptian director and set designer, Shadi Abdelsalam, with his first feature, is a joyous event, and this film, The Night of Counting the Years, was highly praised at the Venice and London film festivals last year. It is an extraordinarily beautiful, impressive work indicating that, if encouraged, Abdelsalam may become the spearhead of the Egyptian cinema. The action is based upon the true story of the discovery of 40 Royal Mummies in 1881 in Thebes, the capital of the Pharaonic Empire. For over three thousand years, the mummies had lain undisturbed, until some archaeologists from the Antiquities Department in Cairo noticed that several objects bearing royal names from the 21st dynasty were constantly appearing on the antique black market. They surmise that somewhere in Thebes, someone knows the location of the missing tombs. It happens that this secret has been kept from generation to generation by the chief's descendants among the Horabat mountain tribe. These people have always considered the Royal Cache to be a private source of income on which to draw at times of need. The money had then been divided among the members of the tribe. When the archaeologists arrive to find the tombs, the two sons of the dead tribal chief are thrown into moral chaos, not knowing whether to reveal the secret or preserve what the tribesmen consider to be their natural heritage. The younger son, Waniss, becomes the central figure in this fantastically gripping and absorbing film. The denouement must remain a secret, but it promised that The Night of Counting the Years is one of the year's most memorable films. It is a stately confrontation with the mysteries of ancient ways and the dilemmas of making a choice between the unknowns of the past and the future.