Friday Films: ‘Adrift on the Nile,’ Based on a Novel by Mahfouz

Every Friday, ArabLit suggests a new classic film-book combination, until we run out of steam about 20 weeks in:

This week, it’s Adrift on the Nile (1971), based on the 1966 novel by Egyptian Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfouz. According to film critic Hessen Hossam, the movie answers three questions: “What’s the importance of cinema?” “What’s the big fuss about a black-and-white downer of a film?” and “How significant is a bunch of chitchat on the Nile?”

Directed by Hussein Kamal and adapted to the screen by Mamdouh al-Laithy, the film was seen as critical of Gamal Abdel Nasser’s government and was scuttled off stage. It remains banned in several countries, according to Omar al-Qattan, writing in The Guardian.

You can watch the film with English subtitles:

Previous Friday films:

A Nightingale’s Prayerbased on a novel by Taha Hussein.

 Kit Katbased on the novel The Heron by Ibrahim Aslan, available in translation by Elliott Colla.

The Egyptian Citizen, based on Yusuf al-Qa’id’s award-winning novel War in the Land of Egypt


Categories: films

7 replies


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