Monday 12 March 2018


Rod Bishop's elegant program notes for the Cinema Reborn Screening on Monday 7 May at 6.30 pm have now been posted on the Festival's website. You can find them if you click here.

The screening will be introduced by Phillip Adams and will be preceded by the Australian premiere screening of Shadi Abdel Salam's short film The Eloquent Peasant. Notes on that film will be posted shortly but here's a preview by Rod Bishop of the literary material on which the film is based:

Pieced together from several differing versions, The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant was written in classical Middle Egyptian and composed around 2200 BC. A combined folk story, morality play and poem, it tells of the peasant Khunanup and his donkey who stumble into lands owned by the nobleman Rensi. Khunanup’s possessions are stolen but he is accused of theft. He pleads his case to the Pharaoh, who is impressed by the peasant’s speech. Although realizing Khunanup has been wronged, Pharaoh withholds judgement so he can listen, over and over again, to the peasant’s remarkable eloquence.

For the restoration of The Eloquent Peasant the World Cinema Foundation and Bologna’s Cinema Ritrovato used the original 35mm camera and sound negatives preserved at the Egyptian Film Centre in Cairo to produce a new 35mm inter-negative for digital restoration.

Meanwhile, now that Google stops you downloading images from the internet, a trawl around  caused me come across a doco portrait of Shadi Abdel Salam which has been posted on YouTube. Enjoy some background about the man who made the greatest ever work of the Arab cinema.

The Night of Counting the Years (Shadi Abdel Salam, Egypt, 1969)

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