Youssef Chahine, R.I.P.

Youssef Chahine was one of my favorite filmmakers. His death means I won’t ever be able to see a new Chahine movie again, which depresses the hell out of me. Chahine was a versatile filmmaker; an artist and a writer whose films dipped into several genres and historical time periods, and whose films were all preoccupied with self, memory, and autonomy.

Chahine made all sorts of movies. He made autobiographical movies about growing up in Alexandria (The Alexandria trilogy). He made historical films (Saladin, Destiny, and others). He made musicals; he made post-modern films; he made films about male Jewish ballerinas; he made films about schizophrenics obsessed with balloons and women. He made great films.

His life was an example for Arab artists everywhere.

He will be missed.

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