Friday Film: Based on Naguib Mahfouz’s ‘A Beginning and an End’

Bidaya wa Nihaya — which has been translated into English as The Beginning and the End — was the opening film of the MOMA’s 2012 “Mahfouz at the Movies” series:

Mahfouz was, after all, not just an important source for script material during Egypt’s film heyday, but also a scriptwriter himself.

Bidaya wa Nihaya came out in 1960, directed by Salah Abu Seif, starring Farid Shawki, Sanaa Gamil, Omar Sharif, and Amina Rizk. From MOMA: “This landmark work of Egyptian realism, the first of Abu Seif’s collaborations with Mahfouz, follows a widowed mother’s hellish struggle against poverty.”

The film was nominated for a Grand Prix at the 2nd Moscow International Film Festival in 1961, and Sanaa Gamil won a Best Supporting Actress.

Previous Friday films:

For Bread Alone, based on the novel by Mohamed Choukri

Gate of the Sun, based on the novel by Elias Khoury

The Dupesbased on Ghassan Kanafani’s Men in the Sun

Diary of a Country Prosecutor, based on a novel by Tawfiq al-Hakim

Adrift on the Nile, based on a novel by Naguib Mahfouz

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

The Lamp of Umm Hashem, inspired by a novella by Yahia Haqqi

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Categories: Egypt, film adaptations, films

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