ISKINDEREYA LEH / ALEXANDRIA WHY

Directed by Youssef Chahine
| 1978 | Arabic | English Subtitles | 125 Mins

Chahine: The Restoration Project
Alexandria, Why? Marked a radical, newly introspective turn in Chahine’s active career, a sharp departure from his Fifties musicals and melodramas and his later epics and political films. The first of four film semi – autobiography, entitled “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,” Alexandria, Why? Focuses on a precocious adolescent whose dreams and colorful attempts to become an actor unfold against the vivid backdrop of Alexandria during World War II. A rich cast inspires Chahine’s young thespian hero with a wealth of dramatic subplots – at turns hilarious and touching – about wartime life. The autobiographical nature and nostalgic flavor of Alexandria, Why? Make it one of Chahine’s most accessible works, a charming and entertaining film that also delivers a potently subversive and impassioned anti – war message. (Harvard Film Archive)

Naglaa Fathy , Farid Shawki , Ezzat El Aleyli , Yusuf Wahbi , Yehia Chahine , Layla Fawzi , Mohsina Tawfiq , Mahmoud El Meligy , Seif Al Din , Ahmed zaki , Mohsen Mohi Al Din