Friday Films: ‘The Collar and the Bracelet,’ Based on a Novella by Yahya Taher

For a while, every Friday, ArabLit suggested a new classic film-book combination — for you to watch and read — but this will probably be the last:

collarYahya Taher Abdallah’s The Collar and the Bracelet, which has been beautifully translated by Samah Selim, was also translated to film by Khairy Beshara in 1986 and named one of the Best 15 Films of the Last 100 Years, as chosen by 20 critics.

The novella has a fantastic poetic ability to work with circularities, to repeat and reinvent, echo and undermine. It is a family story of patriarchal culture and Upper Egypt, where the end becomes the beginning — the end being different in the film from the book.

Selim’s excellent work on the translation won her the 2009 Banipal Prize for Arabic literary translation.

Beshara’s film stars Sherihan, Ezzat El-Alali, and Fardos Abd El-Hamid.

Watch the film:

Previous Friday films:

The Water Carrier is Dead and Land of Hypocrisy, based on novels by Yusuf al-Sibai

The Mountain, based on a novel by Fathi Ghanem

Miramarbased on a novel by Naguib Mahfouz

A Touch of Fear, based on a novella by Tharwat Abaza

The Impossible, based on a novel by Mostafa Mahmoud

The Sixth Daybased on a novel by Andrée Chedid

The Land, based on a novel by Abdel Rahman Al-Sharqawi, translated as Egyptian Earth

Al-Harambased 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 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