Youssef Chahine’s Cinematic Alexandria
Alexandria as an imagined city in Youssef Chahine’s autobiographical cinema.
In the case of Alexandria, where it has substantially mattered that a city-oriented corpus of cinematic work has come out of it, or has shaped it in a phantasmic way, trying either to construct it, represent it, or make it a text, Youssef Chahine’s four-film series about the city seems to stand on the highest ground. The importance of Chahine’s films on Alexandria is that they do not describe the city or show its features as much as present the viewer with a conscious autobiographical yet intentionally imaginative and unrealistic account of the director’s version of Alexandria as an imagined city. Chahine invented a...
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