Tag Archives: (موعد مع المجهول)

The Youssef Chahine Podcast No. 30: Encounter With The Unknown (موعد مع المجهول), 1959


A discussion of Atef Salem’s 1959 Encounter with the Unknown, part of a cycle of films we will be covering as a way of setting a context for better understanding the work of Youssef Chahine. We discuss the very glamorous pairing of Omar Shariff and Samia Gamal, the superb mise-en-scène and visuals, what such skill brings to a rickety script and what it cannot, the relative lack of conceptual and thematic richness in comparison to Chahine and much else.

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


We also discuss how Shariff is often undressed and displayed for viewing pleasure, and how he, like Cary Grant, is the one that gets chased.:

Credits, a brief plot description, and a bio of director can be found


Richard has also provided the following links:

A BBC news story on Salem’s Death: 

A BBC clip of a Salem in ‘Six Decades of Egyptian Ciinema:

This is an article on Samia Gamal

Here’s another more detailed article with more about her film career. Its interesting that other than Sharif she’s one of the performers in Chahine’s films about which there’s the most information in English available


I’ve made a selection of clips so that you can follow the discussion:

Omar at the Beach: Encounter with the Unknown:

Circus Encounter With the Unknown:

Dance number in Encounter With the Unknown:

At the factory:

Another factory setting with very inventive editing Encounter With the Unknown:

In the river Encounter With the Unknown:

Dancing hands in Encounter With the Unknown:



José Arroyo

José Arroyo