"The Content: Working with Chahine is the biggest joy and fulfillment in making movies. Although my roles are small, I go specially and take the roles to listen to his words, and learn from him. He gives the actor freedom also to make decisions that can help a certain scene. He can repeat a scene a million time just to get the look he pictured in his head, very determined, and money isn't an issue as to the great output result; he is a perfectionist. Youssef is one of the kindest people I met in my life, and doesn't treat people different cause he is Youssef Chahine."
"More beautiful than any description: no matter how long I talk about Youssef Chahine, I wont give him his right meaning that he deserves. For me, its enough to say he was the reason to act with the great Mahmoud El Meligi in "El Ard." Joe is bigger than any word, or any meaning. I love you Joe"
"You are the real Egyptian: I worked on 3 movies with Mr. Chahine, "El Yawm El Sadis," a scene in "Skoot Hansawar," and the dead palestinian in "11"09'01-September 11." And Youssef Chahine who people don't know is a real loyal Egyptian, and a visualize artist. He deserves his title as The Teacher for his excellent directorial directions to actors and crew of a movie. Wish you always good luck and hopefully see your movies always shown world wide."
"The forbidden easy: Although I worked with Youssef Chahine once, in "El Nasser Saladin" it surpasses any experience I dealt with in my career. He is a very simple man, although he is known to be stressful, but that is only cause he is looking for the best results in his work. A lot of people thinks he forces actors to be like him, on the contrary, actors want to be him."
--Omar El Hariry
"The Controlled Curse: Personally, I consider Youssef Chahine the best world wide director, and the best Egyptian director that reached world wide audience, and we are all proud of him representing us. Its not true what people say that Youssef is a tough director to work with, that is not true, whoever actor thinks that its because the actor has a problem, not the director."
"He taught me the meaning of cinema: Youssef Chahine is my teacher in the cinema institute, a friend, and I owe him that my love to cinema was 50 percent before I met Youssef Chahine. But after meeting him and working with him, that love became 100 percent, and I owe him big-time for that. I refuse the title "the curse of Youssef Chahine" but I replace it with "the glory of Youssef Chahine." Youssef Chahine is a school that people learned from a lot through his half a century of perfection in making films."
"Crushing boundaries: because he is such a regular and simple person, Youssef Chahine breaks the boundaries between the actor and director relation. And for a lot of actresses, Youssef became like a father figure cinematically."
--Safiaa El Emary
"The tiring feeling: Youssef Chahine is a directorial genius. His generosity is owed to everyone, he created stars and discovered many talents in today's cinema. There was this monologue in the movie "El Massir" that I had to say to Hany Salama. Before the shooting of the scene, Joe wanted us to do a rehearsal of it, and I said "I will shoot today," and wasted the whole day convincing each other about the shooting, and he chose for me a scene to shoot. Youssef is an incredible person to work with high spirits and motives that shows his greatness."
"Gave me the key to art: Youssef Chahine is an artist with the full meaning of the word, Youssef is the craziness of the mind, and the mind of craziness, because he is crazy about his work and very smart about his techniques. I owe Youssef, for he has teached me my first steps as being an actress, and help me stabilize my morals in my career."
"The father and the teacher: He discovered me, and was always there to guide me, he has the best techniques as he puts himself in the actors shoes, he loves actors and admires them greatly. He is such an affectionate person, towards his work too, very generous when it comes to advise, and i consider him a father figure."
"Chahine takes pride in knowing that he's providing employment to so many people: eighty working at the office and the cinemas, and an additional hundred-and-twenty whenever we're in production. Two hundred families depend on their checks they receive from Misr International Films, and this to Chahine is reason enough to keep the company running."
"Chahine's films are costly., and he doesn't have money to pay his actors. His distribution is limited and he's not making the millions people assume he's making. Nothing of the sort. He's on the run. He's basically a semi-institution. He has a few services that he offers to foreign producers making films in Egypt. But he doesn't have any laboratories or such. He rents Studio Galal from the government. So when I decided to work with him, it was because I wanted to learn. For me to shave my head and sit around seven months working for him for nothing, that's something else. But I learned from his administration and how this semi-institution is run."
"Chahine possesses the technical skill to evoke the styles he is seeking with accuracy and respect, and because (in the manner of Scorsese), he actively re-imagines his sources, using their spirit and sense to solve problems, rather than purloining their substance."
"I would like to recall to the creators, like as with the politicians, as once a decision taken, it is necessary to know...to be able to go until the end. The hesitation can lead only to the failure."
"El cima...dana amoot mengherha"
"My choice of a certain theatrical style in this film is directly related to the possibilities that are open to me, given the state the country is in. . . . From this perspective, the historical film, without any doubt, allows the filmmaker the greatest margin of freedom. For me, the essential is to be able to tell my story without being overly preoccupied with historical constraint."
"The Exodus as a trial of initiation is at the heart of human experience. The Bible invented nothing new. Joseph's quest in Egypt, like that of Ram, resembles the quest for the Golden Fleece or for the Holy Grail. Ram relived in Thebes what I myself experienced at the Pasadena Playhouse near Los Angeles. He finds himself in the bosom of a civilization where, a priori, no one needs him. An object of rather unfavorable prejudice, he does not shrivel; he stirs himself to learn, to assert himself, to become indispensable. He succeeds despite prejudice, thanks to the friendship and the love he discovers in his adopting land.
'Suffering was given to man so that he might transform it into song', said Homer. Since then, what has the artist done but the same work of transformation, again and again? Joseph, that's you, that's me...."
"I am what I am. You all invent myths. None of you dares face his reality. Transparent, vulnerable oafs... that's you, not me."
"Sometimes when you go to the desert, around 11 o'clock, you see nothing. Everything is white. I have a way of doing things: if the location doesn't give itself to you and tell you look at me, I want to be photographed, I'm pretty and so on...then how can you film? you and the location must connect. So I sit in the desert and wait for the sun to move. Suddenly a dune tells me look how pretty I am, and I start filming."
"I used to attend American films then gather a few friends and bring them home where we would re-enact what we had seen. As I grew older, at the age of 8, I discovered that 9.5mm films and a small projector were being sold in the stores. The projector didn't cost me more than 30 piasters, and each film cost 3.5 piasters. I saved from allowances enough to buy the projector and then became a regular customer for the RABBANI BIBI short films. Some to them didn't care for cinema and would come up with all kinds of excuses not to attend. So I had no choice but to form a gang to beat up those who were late coming to the show."
"One of the longest Baby-Pathe films I can remember was DESTINE, a film on Bonaparte. Perhaps it was a film by Abel Gance, I do not remember. In those days my mother use to take me to the local cinemas where French films would always be shown, with Henri Garat and Annabella or Jean Murat. I also remember films with Fernandel. In fact, I would mostly see films from Marseilles. Of course, once Egypt started importing Parisian films. I would fin the Parisian accent quite funny. The accent from Marseilles was closer to our own and I expect I understood it better."
"I had never met a director in Egypt. I didn't know anything about cinema. I could only guess. For example, to choose the rhythm between two scenes, I would place my hand on my heart and I would count the number of beats between a change of scenes. I don't know if it taught me anything but it already demonstrated my interest in the problem. And why would they change."
"El Afkar laha agneha, mahadesh yekdar yemna'ha tewsal lel ensan
"Thoughts have wings. No one can prevent them from flying."
"Ana 3ayez a2olha lel 3alam kolo, en abdallah by7eb sarah, w fel la7za di bey7ebaha awy.."
"3aly sotak, bel ghonaa, lesa el aghani momkena"
"shabab yahsaboon el deen gahla, w shebon yahsaboon el gahla dena"
--El Massir | Destiny
"Ah ya Eskinderia ah, ya retni ma kont etwalat feki..."
"Sarah, Eskinderia di hayati w tfolti w afkari, kolo nab3 men hena..waldetik ya habebti madfona hena, w ana el matloob meni afoot w asra7 fel belad"
"Holafa2 enharda a3da2 bokra, w a3da2 enharda holafa2 bokra"
"W ana abelt el princesa Shahinoor, w hatakhod el hafla ta7t re3ayetha"
"Mahi di el 7a2i2a, enti w nona shayfeen eni ana w baba fashleen"
"eeeeh orshaleem, ya katelat el abreya2 w el anbia2"
"Ma3lesh, heya el harb keda"
"eh orshaleem, ya katelat el abrya2 w el anbya2"
--Eskinderia Leeh? | Alexandria Why?
"Masr Hatefdal Ghalya Alaya"
"3o2bal el tania yabo khashaba"
"Ana el masri, galeel el 3onsoreen, baneet el magd..."
--El Wada3 Ya Bonaparte | GoodBye Bonaparte
"Enta tetnatat, looz tetnat...eh khawatena"
"Nas la leehom fel dayeb, wala leehom wala fel tool wala el te7een"
"Masme3tesh, ya ghayeb, hadootet hetetna..3la albi kan, hayeb, men 7elwet 7etetna."
"Homa lelteen, sood ya Rafahi"
"Walahi 3andi 7arakat agda3 men Gene Kelly, neshoof?"
--El Yoom El Sadis | The Sixth Day