Biography of Salah Abu Seyf (1915-1996)

Film director, born in Cairo (Egypt) on May 10, 1915 and died in that same city in June 1996.


Figure capital within the framework of cinema Egyptian and maximum exponent of the realistic tradition so characteristic of the 1950s, Abu Seyf came to cinema through criticism, after studying trade and various administrative duties in the textile industry. At the end of the 1930s came into the large Misr Studios, where he/she worked as Editor Assistant and Assistant of direction (in addition to some short films custom) before shooting his first film in 1946, Daiman fi qalbi. Despite the fact that his third feature, Mughamarat Antar wa Abla, constituted a great public success, Abu Seyf career did not reach authentic distinction until in 1952 Lak yaum zalim, a free adaptation of Thérèse Raquin, Emile Zola, scripted by Naguib Mahfuz, and Hassan el-ustaa, a perceptive depiction of life in the neighborhoods cairotas which can be seen clearly left-wing filmmaker perspectiveinaugurated its magnificent cycle of realist films. Raya wa Sakina, el-monster, Shabab imraa, to el-futuwa, Lawat-hubb and, above all, the masterful Bidaya wa nihaya, adaptation of the eponymous novel by Naguib Mahfuz, are some of his most important works, which once flagship titles of the Egyptian cinema of the nasserist period. Subsequently, the career of Abu Seyf resented because of the general crisis of production that crossed their country cinema, forcing him to perform conventional musical stars of the day service (Risala min imraa maghula) or soulless epopeyas historical (Fagr al - Islam, Al-Qadissiya), without which is why missing still important titles in his filmography, such as Hammam al - Malatili, Al - Qahira zalazin, el-qadiyya 68 and As-saqaa mat, all of them are true to its social and aesthetic concerns. Director between 1963 and 1965 the national film organization and Professor for several years at the Superior Institute of cinematography Cairo, Abu Seyf was always a reference for generations of filmmakers in their country and remains - next Yussef Chahine- as the great figure of the social realism that in the 1950s opened a decisive in Egyptian commercial production gap and enable new ways of film expression in the heart of the Arab world.


Short films

1940: Turuq an-naql fil Iskandadariya; Yaum fi muaskar hindi. 1941: Sinfuniyyat al - Qahira. 1942: to umru wahid. 1949: Zud as-sharrr. 1953: Suq baladna. 1955: at bitrul fi Misr. 1971: Allahu Akbar. 1971: Sanaud.

Medium-length films

1960: to el-banat wa sayf [an episode; co-dir, Fatin Abdelwahab and Ezzedin Zufilqar]. 1969: Zalaz nisaa [an episode; co-dir., Henry Barakat and Mahmud Zulfiqar]. 1976: Sana ula to the hubb [an episode; co-dir., Niazi Mustafa and Hilmy Rafla].

Feature films

1946: Daiman fi qalbi. 1947: to muntaqim. 1948: Mughamarat Antar wa Abla. 1949: Sharia to el-bahlawan. 1950: As-saqr. 1952: Lak yaum already zalim; Al - Hassan ustaa. 1953: Raya wa Sakina. 1954: to the monster. 1956: Al-Shabab imraa. 1957: to el-futuwa; Al - wisada to el-jaliya; The SFDA. 1958: Mugrim fi agaza; At-tariq Al masdud; Hadda huwwa to el-hubb. 1959: Ana hurra; Baina wal ard as-samaa. 1960: Lawat to el-hubb; BIDAYA wa nihaya. 1961: The tutfi as-shams. 1962: Risala min imraa maghula. 1963: Waqt lil hubb. 1966: Al - Qahira zalazin. 1967: Az-zauga az-zania. 1968: to qadiyya 68. 1969: Shai min al azab. 1970: Fagr al - Islam. 1973: Hammam al - Malatili. 1975: at el-kaddab. 1976: Wa saqatat fi bahr el-asal min. 1977: As-saqaa mat. 1978: at el-mugrim. 1980: Al - Qadissiya. 1986: to bidaya. 1991: Muwatin Masri. 1994: as-sayyid Kaf.


KHAYATI, Khemais. Salah Abou Seif, cinéaste egyptien. (Paris: Éditions Sindbad, 1990).

A. Elena