Friday, June 5, 2015

Cairo Station (Egypt, 1958)


To say “Cairo Station” is a best Egyptian film will be inappropriate for me, since I haven’t seen many Egyptian movies. But, considering on how this film is made, I doubt if any other film from the Arab countries (except Iran) can beat “Cairo Station”. Directed and acted by Youssef Chahine. This film went on to represent Egypt’ first entry to Oscars, but failed to win in the foreign film category. It was also strange to see that a film like this was not even nominated to the top five in the Academy Awards.

Enough of flowering words let us get into the film. As the name suggests, the film is set in the Cairo railway station. There are multiple plots in the film, but all revolves around an abandon man Qinawi, who works as a newspaper seller in the station. He is crippled and couldn’t talk cohesively. In his daily life, he tends to see people from different walks of life, especially women. He keeps on observing their small movements and become obsessed to have one or at least develops a deep liking towards the opposite sex, as we see in the opening of the film his shed (home) is filled with pictures of half-nude women. 


Qinawi tries to develop a relationship with Hanouma, cold-drink vendor. He proposes to her, but she doesn’t take him seriously. We see different facets of the buzzing railway station and the film touches them- workers problem to start union, hardships of the platform vendors, Qinawi sees the agony of a girl who at the station to say her final good-bye to her love. In the midst of all this Qinawi makes a desperate attempt to get hold of Hanouma and marry her. Did he succeed is the film?

All events happen in one day. Cinematography and editing go hand-in-hand to reflect the mind of Qinawi. Qinawi (Youssef Chahine, the director) has hardly a page or two of dialogue.

The later part of the film becomes Hitchcokian once the plot is set. Alfred Hitchcock’ Psycho came to my mind while seeing this film, but the irony is this Egyptian film was released in 1958 before Psycho (1960).

Fan Made Trailer

Country Series – This will feature countries from alphabetical order, A to Z. One film from a country will be written on a weekly basis. Next in the series will be from F...

Earlier Posts - Afghanistan, Burma, Columbia, Denmark


  1. You torrent them?

    So next is gonna be a French or a Finnish movie.

    Waiting for that

  2. @Chriz. Yes I torrent them. Life is full of torrents :-)

    Not French and not Finnish.