Every Friday, ArabLit suggests a new classic film-book combination — for you to watch and read — until we run out of steam about 20 weeks in:
This week, it’s the 1965 film The Impossible, (al-Moustahil), directed by Hussein Kamal, based on Mostafa Mahmoud’s 1960 novel of the same name.
Mahmoud was a physician and a prolific author, having written eighty-some books on various subjects, but known mostly as an Islamic writer. But The Impossible is not one of his didactic works, but a melodrama about an unhappy man who finds the impossible — love.
Actress Nadia Lotfi told Al Ahram in 2014: “The writer Mostafa Mahmoud, having seen me in Al-Moustahil (The Impossible), a film based on his novel, said that my performance ‘shook the viewers.”
Previous Friday films:
The Sixth Day, based on a novel by Andrée Chedid
The Land, based on a novel by Abdel Rahman Al-Sharqawi, translated as Egyptian Earth
Al-Haram, based on a novel by Yusuf Idris
I’m Free, based on a novel by Ihsan Abdel Quddous
A Beginning and an End, based on the novel by Naguib Mahfouz
For Bread Alone, based on the novel by Mohamed Choukri
Gate of the Sun, based on the novel by Elias Khoury
The Dupes, based 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 Prayer, based on a novel by Taha Hussein.
Kit Kat, based 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