Alexandria Why / Iskindereya Leh

  • Release Date: 1978
  • Type: Feature Film
  • Run time: 125 Minutes
  • Directed by: Youssef Chahine
  • Produced by: Misr International Films
  • Screenplay: Mahmoud Bakr
  • Cast: Naglaa Fathy, Farid Shawki, Ezzat El Aleyli, Yusuf Wahbi, Yehia Chahine, Layla Fawzi, Mohsina Tawfiq, Mahmoud El Meligy, Seif Al Din, Ahmed zaki, Mohsen Mohi Al Din
  • Cinematographer: Mohsen Nasr
  • Art direction: Nahed Bahgat
  • Editing: Rashida Abdel Salam
  • Costume design: Ahmed Al Kassar
  • Music: Fouad Al Thahri
  • Sound: Nasri Abdel Nour
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Scenario: Youssef Chahine, Mohsen Zayed, Hassan Abd Rabou

Alexandria, Why? Marked a radical, newly introspective turn in Chahine’s active career, a sharp departure from his Fifties musicals and melodramas and his later epics and political films. The first of four film semi – autobiography, entitled “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,” Alexandria, Why? Focuses on a precocious adolescent whose dreams and colorful attempts to become an actor unfold against the vivid backdrop of Alexandria during World War II. A rich cast inspires Chahine’s young thespian hero with a wealth of dramatic subplots – at turns hilarious and touching – about wartime life. The autobiographical nature and nostalgic flavor of Alexandria, Why? Make it one of Chahine’s most accessible works, a charming and entertaining film that also delivers a potently subversive and impassioned anti – war message. (Harvard Film Archive)

the Scenes