We discuss Chahine’s last film, Le Chaos, and are delighted by what we see; a political melodrama that offers all the pleasures of the genre — one feels for these people who long for love and freedom but who aren’t allowed to achieve their wants through repressive social and state mechanisms. The villain is a torturer and rapist. Chahine’s achievement is that he makes him understandable, whilst offering a Marxist critique of a corrupt culture through a film that always sides with the powerless. The mise-en-scène is masterful; the film is brilliant. Thanks very much to the kind friend who made it possible for us to see it. We have 15 more Chahine films we have not been able to source; so if any of you know where we can buy/source/see them, we would appreciate it. In the podcast we also discuss how the film can be seen as an amalgamation of recurring Chahine thematics as well as recurring visual motifs and we try to connect this film to the rest of his oeuvre. It’s one to see.
The podcast can also be listened to on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/show/2zWZ7Egdy6xPCwHPHlOOaT
and on itunes here: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/first-impressions-thinking-aloud-about-film/id1548559546
Listeners might be interested in comparing the way the film was marketed in Egypt:
…an in France:
also, this is the Variety article where Richard picked up the information about Khaled Youssef’s involvement
4 thoughts on “The Youssef Chahine Podcast No, 44: Le Chaos (2007)”
Your discussions on Chahine’s cinema have been a highlight of 2021. Thanks, and a Happy New Year to you both. Richard Talbot.
Thank you so much. It’s lovely to get any feedback at all, much less one as nice as yours. Happy New Year
I remember the days when this film was released in 2007. It feels like an eternity since then. So much has changed in the 15 years that elapsed. I was at uni and I remember the praise it got as a powerful depiction of what was thought to be routine violations in Egyptian police stations. As anything Chahine it was met with mixed feelings, but credit goes to the Mubarak government of the time for accepting that level of critique. The film was a prelude to what would happen a few years later in 2011.
How interesting. Thank you so much for sharing your memories and experience.