Fiche Film
LONG Métrage | 1960
Commencement et la fin (Le) | (Bidâya wa nihâya) – بداية و نهاية
Titre original : Mort parmi les vivants | Dead Amongst the Living
Pays concerné : Égypte
Durée : 140 minutes
Genre : drame
Type : fiction


Un bourgeois, fonctionnaire, meurt sans laissant presque sans argent sa veuve qui se bat pour que sa famille ne tombe pas dans la misère. Sa cadette est une fille-mère qui tombe dans la prostitution alors que l’aîné est un traficant de drogue ; les deux se cotisent afin de payer les études de leur petit frère qui fait l’école militaire afin de sortir officier.

Le premier rôle d’Omar Sharif. Avec ce film Salah Abou Seif est le premier cinéaste à adapter un roman de Naguib Mahfouz.

un film de Salah Abu Seif

1960, Egypte | arabe sous-titré | 2h240 min. | Noir & Blanc | 35mm


Réalisateur : Salah Abou Seif
Producteur : Fouad Salah Eddin
Producteur délégué : Fouad Salah Eddin
Scénariste : Salah Ez Eldine, Salah Abou Seif, d’après le roman de Naguid Mahfouz
Images : Kamal Karim
Directeur artistique : Hilmi Azab
Montage : Emil Bahri
Son : Nivio Ornaville
Musique : Fouad El Zahiri
Société de Production : Dinar Film

Farid Shawki, Omar Sharif, Amina Rizk, Sanaa Gamil, Kamal Hussein, Amal Zayed, Salah Mansour


Beginning and the End (The) | (Bidaya wa Nihaya)
Taken from Naguib Mahfouz’s much-loved novel, Salah Abu Seif’s The Beginning and the End stands as one of the most important realistic films in the history of Egyptian cinema. When a government employee dies leaving his widow nearly penniless, she attempts to keep her family from sliding into misery. While her eldest son stays away, fate blocks the paths of her younger sons and poverty leads her daughter Nafiassa (Sana’ Jami) to the abyss of despair.

THE BEGINNING documents the inexorable slide of a middle-class family down the socioeconomic ladder. A plain daughter-seduced and abandoned-is forced into prostitution, and her older brother finds no way to make a living except by dealing drugs. The two combine their earnings to send a younger sibling (Omar Sharif) to military school so that he can become a respectable officer. But it seems that none of them can truly escape the downward spiral of their lives. A superb performance by Sharif, and Sana’ Gamil as the plain sister is heartbreaking.

a film by Salah Abu Seif

1960, Egypt | Arabic | English subtitles | 140 min. | Black & White | 35mm


Director: Salah Abou Seif
Producer: Fouad Salah Eddin
Executive Producer: Fouad Salah Eddin
Screenwriter: Salah Ez Eldine, Salah Abou Seif, based on the novel by Naguid Mahfouz
Cinematographer: Kamal Karim
Art Director: Hilmi Azab
Editor: Emil Bahri
Sound: Nivio Ornaville
Music: Fouad El Zahiri
Production Company: Dinar Film

Farid Shawki, Omar Sharif, Amina Rizk, Sanaa Gamil, Kamal Hussein, Amal Zayed, Salah Mansour

Based on the novel of the same name by Mahfouz, The Beginning and the End is among the most important films in the history of Arab cinema and is a significant work in the œuvre of Salah Abu Seif, particularly given the place it holds in the history of Egyptian realist films.

The story is that of the family of a man of modest means who dies. From the moment she realizes her late husband has left her with nothing, the widowed mother attempts to salvage what she can of normal subsistence -by no means an easy task, given the small amount provided by the government pension. The slide into poverty that results is equally horrific in Mahfouz’s novel and Abu Seif’s film, as the pressure of an unforgiving society and the family’s inability to support itself sees them descend into a life of hell.

Amina Rizk is at her best here as the woman who looks after her family while her life goes to pieces. Her eldest son is rarely at home and barely able to feed himself, while her two younger sons find their paths forward in life blocked by fate. Meanwhile, daughter Nafissa (Sanaa Gamil), faced with the ugliness of poverty and desperation, is led to the abyss of despair.

The Beginning and the End lives in the memories of millions of spectators due to its universal story -one familiar not only to Arab societies, but to societies the world over, hence the ease with which the story is adapted to a Mexican setting in the film by Arturo Ripstein, also showing at the Festival.

-Ibrahim Al Ariss (5th Abu Dhabi Film Festival – ADFF 2011)


2011 | 5th Abu Dhabi Film Festival – ADFF 2011 | Oct. 13-22, 2011
* Special Programs – Naguib Mahfouz – Man of Cinema

1996| The Centennial of Arab Cinema | New York, Usa
* Sélection
Screening time: Friday, November 1: 6:45 pm
Screening time: Sunday, November 3: 2 pm

1979 | 1er Festival des 3 Continents | NANTES, France |

1960 | Moscow FilmFest
* Competition



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