Amr Chahine

Naguib Mahfouz In Mexican Cinema: Here’s The Scoop

We realize the similarity between Mexico and Egypt in terms of civilization and customs, but the similarity is also crossing to the world of cinema, series, and shows. In 1988, the world saw the great Naguib Mahfouz win the Nobel Prize for Literature. It was at this moment that the world’s attention was focused on Mahfouz’s literature in particular and Egyptian literature in general. It wasn’t long before his novels made it all around the world into different languages. In 1993, the first feature-length film shows Principio y fin or Beginning and End was based totally on Mahfouz’s novel and a previously adapted Egyptian movie “Bidaya w al Nihaya”. The Spanish version of the film was adapted by Les Paz Alica Grisdigo and directed by Arturua Rebsten, starring Ernesto Legordia, Juliet Aguirola, Blanca Guerra and Bruno. It tells the tale of the Potero family, a middle-class family who loses their only means of money making, and follows the Egyptian version of the film closely. But this was not the only time that Mexican cinema used Naguib Mahfouz content, because in 1995, the Mexican film El Callejón de los Milagros or The Alley of Miracles, which is…”Zouqaq al Madaq”! This time, the film’s share of fame in the world was greater and the reason is that the heroine of the film was the star Salma Hayek. The film also saw success at the Berlin Film Festival, and is considered one of the best Spanish-speaking films in film history.