Egyptian cinema showcased the cholera and AIDS epidemic, she said


Compared to American and international cinema, Egyptian and Arab cinema did not deal with epidemiological issues except in the rare few, perhaps because its makers felt that the Arab public did not like these films or the special equipment and large budgets required for this type of film.

Cinema of cholera and AIDS

One of the rare films that dealt with diseases and epidemics is “A Storm on the Countryside”, which was directed by Ahmed Badrakhan in 1941. The film deals with a cholera epidemic through a doctor facing ignorance and disease in a remote village, and the film is based on a play that Yusef Wehbe had presented in 1934 on the story of Badi` Khairi Starring Youssef Wehbe himself and Hussein Riad, which is the play that Wehbe described in his memoirs as a prediction of the epidemic and its spread in Egypt years later in 1947.

In 1962, Tawfiq Saleh directed one of the most important films that dealt with the epidemic, through his beautiful movie “The Struggle of Heroes”, which was produced by Izz Al-Din Zulfikar and co-wrote his story with the scriptwriter Abdel-Hayi Adib, starring Shukri Sarhan, Samira Ahmed and Salah Nazmi. The film tells the story of the young doctor, Shukry, who goes to work in a remote village in Upper Egypt during the period of the British occupation, and there he is shocked by the harsh social reality and difficult economic conditions of the villagers, and the young doctor clashes with the presence of the English soldiers in the village, as well as the ignorance applied to the people, and finds himself facing two enemies Two worms are the feudal boy, Adel Bey, who exploits the people of the village and uses them to serve his purposes for more wealth. The second is the midwife of the village, which gives birth to women in a primitive way, causing the death of many of them, and during his confrontation with his enemies, the cholera epidemic is spreading in the village due to the people in Tana And the leftovers of surplus food from the English soldiers.

The young doctor confronts the habits of the poor village people that were a cause of their cholera, but the midwife and the feudal lord are broadcast in the ears of the overwhelming villagers that the doctor transcends them and that he exploits them for his benefit and his research, especially after he extracts the body of a person who died of cholera to assure the people that cholera is spread among them because of the food they eat, The parents consider that the doctor is their first enemy, and in another context, my thanks are related to the school Afaf, which the feudalist wanted to marry, and the conflict continues and my thanks appear to be on the verge of surrendering to the fait accompli until a police force comes to prevent the villagers from leaving it in order not to transfer To Cholera for other villages, and my thanks go on treating the injured villagers until they are cured and the people realize how na ومve and deluded they are, and a government decision is issued to appoint Shukri as responsible for fighting cholera, so that he and his wife, Afaf, can move to another village to fight ignorance, poverty and disease, and this film has caught the attention To many scientific facts about cholera and the means to control it were not known to the Egyptians at the time, in a dramatic context revealing the backgrounds of conflict of interests in the countryside, and Tawfiq Saleh succeeded, as is his custom, in conveying his important social message.

Twenty-four years later, specifically in 1986, Youssef Shaheen creates the “Sixth Day” movie, also produced by Dalida, Mohsen Mohieddine, Shwikar, Salah Al-Saadani and Hamdi Ahmed, about a story by Andrei Shedid and tells a story about the spread of cholera in the time of King Farouk, by reviewing the suffering of an Egyptian woman A friend is called with her son’s cholera infection and has hidden him for 6 days so that he will not be arrested and detained along with the rest of the patients who were being isolated.

In 1992, the director Ahmed Fouad presented a film written by him entitled “Love in Taba” starring Mamdouh Abdel Alim, Gala Fahmy and Wael Nour, and deals with the story of three Egyptian young men who know in Taba in Sharm El Sheikh about three foreign tourists, then they discover that the tourists are HIV-positive and each of them tries to isolate and move away from His family and friends.


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