The Youssef Chahine Film Club — The Will (Kamal Selim, 1939)

In Egypt, The Will (aka Determination) is often voted the greatest Egyptian film of all time, one of the greatest ever anywhere, and a precursor to Italian neo-realism. Youssef Chahine recommended it and provided the impetus for our viewing. In this podcast, we discuss how much we liked it (the representation of a whole way of life with its structures of feeling, the melodrama, the resonances it still has to contemporary life); the limits of its comparison to neo-realism; its influence on Chahine, particularly evident in Daddy Amin; and how and why its claims to being one of the greatest films of all time nonetheless elude us.

The podcast my also be listened to on Spotify here:

and on itunes here:

Mark Cousins talks about The Will in Story of Film. Some very interesting context for it:

A great restoration of the film (with slightly eccentric subtitles) is available on iTunes:


José Arroyo

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