Chapter

Popular Cinema and Conceptualizing Class and Social Change

Malek Khouri

in The Arab National Project in Youssef Chahine's Cinema

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9789774163548
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781617970153 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5743/cairo/9789774163548.003.0002
Popular Cinema and Conceptualizing Class and Social Change

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Chahine made twelve films in the 1950s. Chahine's cinema never adopted a dogmatic stand on the issues of class and class divisions; rather, it acknowledged the common areas of interest among people from different classes. His film career immediately followed his return from the United States with an acting diploma from the Pasadena Playhouse in 1948. Some of Chahine's early popular melodramas and musicals of the 1950s certainly alluded to and occasionally criticized the gap between social strata in Egyptian pre-revolution society, or mocked the bourgeois lifestyle, or described the workers' environment in a more or less “realistic” fashion. Chahine explores the working conditions on the docks of the port of Alexandria through a story about a clash between a young worker and his boss in Sira'fi-l-mina.

Keywords: Pasadena Playhouse; melodramas; pre-revolution society; Sira'fi-l-mina; Alexandria

Chapter.  6207 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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