Ughniyat Touha al-Hazina (Sad Song of Touha)
Courtisane: Out of the Shadows 12' - 1972 - Dialogue: Arabic - Format: 16mm
Director: Atteyat Al-Abnoudy
In many ways the sister film to Horse of Mud, Al-Abnoudy’s second film, her graduation film at the Film School in Cairo, is a portrait of Cairo’s street performers.
In many ways the sister film to Horse of Mud, Al-Abnoudy’s second film, her graduation film at the Film School in Cairo, is a portrait of Cairo’s street performers. The artistry of this community of fire-eaters, child contortionists, and other performers is captured through the lens of Al-Abnoudy’s unobtrusive camera, accompanied by the spare and haunting narration provided by poet Abdel Rahman Al-Abnoudy.
Film prints courtesy of Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art.
“I don’t want to make films because of some beautiful subject or because there’s something fascinating me in the colours or anything like that. We always tend to see lovely houses and lovely hills, the decor and other fantastic things before us on the screen. But the poor people and the working class are not on the screen, when they have the right to be. When I talked to the young belly-dancer in Sad Song of Touha, for instance, she said she really would like to be a dancer in a cabaret, because she always goes to the cinema and sees these belly-dancers and beautiful girls. She said, ‘I would like to see myself on the screen.’ So I said, ‘why not!’”
Countries of production