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:
Yahya 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
Miramar, based 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 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