The Emigrant / Al Mohager

  • Release Date: 1994
  • Type: Featured
  • Run time: 124 Minutes
  • Directed by: Youssef Chahine
  • Produced by: Gabriel Khoury, Humbert Balsan
  • Screenplay: Youssef Chahine, Khaled Youssef, Rafik Al Saban, Ahmed Kassem
  • Cast: Yousra, Mahmoud Hemeida, Khaled El Nabawy, Safeya El Emary, Hanan Tork, Ahmed Bedeir, Seif Abdel Rahman, Ahmed Salama, Sayed Abdel Karim, Amr Abdel Guelil
  • Cinematography: Ramses Marzouk
  • Art direction: Hamed Hemdan
  • Editing: Rachida Abdel Salam
  • Costume design: Nahed Nasrallah
  • Music: Mohamed Noah
  • Sound: Raafat Samir
  • Subtitles: English, French

Ram is intent on leaving his family to travel in search of knowledge and enlightenment. His interest in agriculture leads to new innovations that enable the cultivation of produce in the arid desert. The film was criticized for what appeared to be an allegorical reference to the Zionist colonization of Palestine, which Israeli propaganda celebrated in terms of its success in “making the desert bloom”. Considering Chahine’s fierce anti-Zionist and pro-Palestinian politics, the accusation was absurd. But still, the film created controversy with its depiction of a prophet which, according to Islam and to Al-Azhar’s religious rulings, is forbidden. A sixth-month legal battle ensued, which led to The Emigrant being banned from movie theaters, but not before it joined the ranks of the highest grossing Chahine films to date.

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