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Film Studies: National Cinemas

This guide highlights selected resources for various national cinemas.

Introduction to Egyptian film

Egypt’s earliest moving-image screening—of the Lumières’ Cinématographe in Alexandria on 5 November 1896—was organized for European residents rather than for Egyptians; and the earliest films shot in Egypt—scenes of Alexandria in 1912—were made by a Frenchman. From cinema’s earliest years, in fact, Egypt has figured as a setting for films made by outsiders. Many of these betray an obsession with Ancient Egypt in general and—from a mummy film dated as early as 1909 through Karl Freund’s classic The Mummy (US, 1933) and the 1999 US remake directed by Stephen Sommers—a particular fascination with the figure of the mummy.

     While the Egyptian film industry is the oldest, largest, and most influential in the Arab world (see Arab cinema), local production remained negligible until the coming of sound. The earliest known film made by an Egyptian is a 1922 short, Al bash kateb/The Civil Servant (Mohamed Bayoumi), and it is said that only thirteen Egyptian features were made between 1926 and 1932, the best known being Zeinab (Mohamed Khan, 1930) and Leila ((Istafan Rosti and Wedad Orfi, 1932). Despite competition from films imported from the West, the 1930s saw the beginnings of a relatively successful domestic film industry, helped by substantial backing from Bank Misr: the sophisticated Misr studio opened in 1935.   ...

Kuhn, A., & Westwell, G. (2020). Egypt, film in. In A Dictionary of Film Studies. : Oxford University Press. Retrieved 14 Apr. 2021

In the library's collections/Searching the online catalog

You can use one of the links below to search the online catalog:

Introductory reading(s)

Selected book titles

Other library resource(s)

Finding scholarly articles and journals

You can find scholarly literature for film and television studies in a variety of journals. However, if you want to do targeted searching, you can use a subject specific database such as Film & Television Literature Index. You can also use the search box at the top of the page.

Selected movie titles

Find more Egyptian film titles in the library's online catalog.

Internet resource(s)