This is my first Egyptian film and what a film it is. It’s based on a true story of a large cache of ancient Egyptian artifacts and mummys that were found after a local told archeologists the location in the late 1800’s. The film begins with the death of the head of the Hurabat tribe. His two sons are then shone by the elders of the tribe how they make their living. They are taken to a place where one of the elders proceeds to remove a large golden necklace from a mummy and give it to one of the sons for he to take to a merchant they have traded with in the past. That son is named Wannis and he is troubled by this.

The rest of the film is his attempts to come to grips with what he believes is wrong and in so doing accept a greater Egyptian identity than he had before. The film has a slow pace, eerie music, and location shooting that all make the film feel surreal. What makes the film so great is that it doesn’t offer any easy answers. Wannis does give up the ancient Egyptian cache to the “city people” from Cairo, but he isn’t taken away by them nor does he stand defiant and confident in the end. Instead, we see him in the shot above still being tortured from within. I highly recommend it.

You can see this film free and legal here: http://www.archive.org/details/The_Night_of_Counting_the_Years

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