Destiny / Al Massir

  • Release Date: 1997
  • Type: Featured
  • Run time: 131 Minutes
  • Directed by: Youssef Chahine
  • Produced by: Humbert Balsan, Gabriel Khoury
  • Screenplay: Youssef Chahine, Khaled Youssef
  • Cast: Nour El Sherif, Laila Elwy, Mahmoud Hemeida, Safeya El Emary, Mohamed Mounir, Khaled El Nabawy, Seif Abdel Rahman, Abdallah Mahmoud, Rogina, Hany Salama, Fares Rahouma
  • Cinematography: Mohsen Nasr
  • Art direction: Hamed Hemdan
  • Editing: Rachida Abdel Salam
  • Costume design: Nahed Nasrallah
  • Music: Kamal Al Taweel, Yehia Al Mougy
  • Sound: Gasser Khorshed
  • Subtitles: English, French

Alarmed by the rise of religious fundamentalism in Egypt in the 1990’s, Chahine created an historic epic centered on the philosopher Ibn Rushd (known in the West as Averroes) and set in medieval Cordoba, Spain where – under Arab rule – a secular and multicultural society flourished. To make his point, Chahine concocts the story of a young Arab man lured away from his “decadent” lifestyle and indoctrinated into a fundamentalist sect. Though the film operates as a sincere and moving plea for tolerance and a timely warning against violent religious extremism, Chahine also provides plenty of spectacles, including a steamy romance and lots of song and dance. (Harvard Film Archive)