A poor peasant woman becomes a symbol of worker oppression in this somber social drama directed by Henry Barakat. Azziza is brutally raped by a guard when she goes into the fields to gather potatoes for her husband. She does not relate the incident to her husband who is suffering from an undisclosed illness. Azziza hides the pregnancy and strangles the baby after it is born, but she also dies soon thereafter. The migrant workers rally around her memory as she becomes a martyr to the cause of the struggling peasants.
Director: Henry Barakat.
Writer: Youssef Idriss (novel), Saad al-Din Wahbah.
Stars: Abdallah Gheith, Faten Hamamah, Zaki Rustum.
1965 Cannes Film Festival – Nominated for the Palme d’Or.
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Back from the ancient days when movies had something relevant to say (and were not just numb and dumb escapism) comes this drama from Egypt, which is by some hailed as the most important movie ever made there, and gives us food for thought, how times were for women not very long ago …
Barakat, probably the Howard Hawks of Egypt cinema, has made many more socio-oeconomic dramas, which are still completely unknown to Western audiences. I’d love to see that change.
This is one of my best films from Egypt. I highly recommend. Very interesting film to watch