FILE – A Scene from "Rehlet El Bahth Aa'n Om Kulthoum" FILE – A Scene from "Rehlet El Bahth Aa'n Om Kulthoum"

Legendary Umm Kolthoum through Iranian eyes

Sun, Dec. 3, 2017
CAIRO – 3 December 2017: Known for her golden voice that expressed Egypt's ups and downs, Umm Kolthoum still captivates the minds of authors and composers.

This year, Iranian filmmaker Shirin Neshat revealed details on her latest project "Rehlet el-Bahth Aan Umm Kolthoum" (Looking for Umm Kolthoum) film that screened in various international film festivals such as the Venice Film Festival.

The story of the film revolves around a director who aims to direct a film about Umm Kolthoum, and the director’s search for a suitable actress to play her role. The actress chosen in the film to play Umm Kolthoum is Yasmin Raees.

Neshat sees Umm Kolthoum as a myth, or legendary character that should be studied from different perspectives.


To present a new adaptation for Umm Kolthoum’s biography, Neshtat enriched her film with different techniques such as adding original videos of Umm Kolthoum in the film, besides discussing Umm Kolthoum’s biography from a feminist perspective.

In the past, Egyptian drama presented a biography on Umm Kolthoum directed by prominent Egyptian director Inaam Mohamed Ali and written by Mahfouz Abdel Rahman. Ali employed a narrative style to document Umm Kolthoum’s life in her series. However, the series did not focus on the last years in her life, especially after the October 6, 1973 victory.

Legendary director Mohamed Fadel presented a deeper and more humanitarian side of Umm Kolthoum, showing her efforts with the Egyptian armed forces after the 1967 war in his film “Kawkab el-Sharq” [The Star of the Orient].
 
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