Quick Thoughts: The Night Of Counting The Years (a.k.a The Mummy, Al-Mummia, 1969)
Made by Shadi Abdel Salam, this is the Egyptian film of the series.
The Night of Counting The Years is, I have to admit, a film I didn’t fully grip, and so will have to re-watch. But, I certainly look forward to this. With a thick, highly immersive atmosphere dripping from every scene, The Night of Counting The Years, based on a true story, follows a young man amidst a controversy surrounding the tomb raiding of mummified bodies. This raises a rather confined familial and inter-communal drama over the possession of artefacts that is subtexually superseded by greater questions concerning the roots of ones own culture and identity. This manifests itself in beautiful, gliding tracking shots that see characters wander through the ruins of an ancient culture so far removed from themselves in time, but nonetheless connected to them, in some intangible way, through spirit. And intangibility is a key idea with this film as the mise en scène, cinematography, sound design and camera movement all work together to create this sometimes surreal cinematic space where figures and shapes wander into the screen and occupy space in a non-lucid manner.
All in all, The Night of Counting The Years is a movie that had my imagination run off on many tangents of thought concerning history (that know very little of) and ethics, but left me without much to say. This is nonetheless a movie that gripped me experientially and so would have to recommend.
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