Drama • NR • 1979 • 2 hr 13 min
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Amid the poverty, death, and suffering caused by World War II, 18-year-old Yehia, retreats into a private world of fantasy and longing. Obsessed with Hollywood, he dreams of one-day studying filmmaking in America, but after falling in love and discovering the lies of European occupation, Yehia profoundly reevaluates his identity and allegiances.
After we last see him in "Alexandria, Why?" Egyptian filmmaker Yehia Mourad is in his thirties, and successful in his work, he has grown distant from his wife and children and suﬀers a symbolic blockage of the heart while shooting the final scenes of his latest film. After being flown to England for evaluation, it's determined that Yehia must undergo emergency surgery. Fact and fiction blend seamlessly—with healthy doses of cleverly absurdist fantasy—as the film explores the various personalities and forces that have made Yehia (and Youssef Chahine) the man he has become.
Set in 1987 against the backdrop of a hunger strike by the Egyptian film industry, Chahine himself steps in to play Yehia, the famed Egyptian director whose life is chronicled in "Alexandria, Why?" and "An Egyptian Story". Obsessed with Amr, the handsome actor he discovered and cast as his alter-ego in parts one and two of The Alexandria Trilogy, Yehia pressures Amr to star in various film projects that change even as Yehia's perception of the young actor begins to change. He first casts Amr as Hamlet, which the actor deems too demanding for his talents, then as the lead in a musical biopic of demigod Alexander the Great, who founded the city of Alexandria in 332 B.C.
An enthralling look at the relationship between America and the Arab World from an Arab perspective. It tells the story of Yehia, a renowned Egyptian filmmaker whose life has been shaped by a pair of disrupted love affairs, one with an American woman named Ginger, the other with America itself.