Shadi Abdel Salam, Egypt, 1969, 106m.
In “Al-Mumia,” a young man faces a profound dilemma upon discovering his tribe’s ancestral trade in stolen ancient artefacts. A film based on true events in the late 19th century, Egypt, set against a backdrop of Ottoman and British imperialism and local national awakening depicts a visually striking narrative of family, identity, and national history. Produced by the Italian master neorealist Roberto Rossellini and scored by fellow Italian, iconic composer, Mario Nascimbene, ‘Al-Mumia’ is Shadi Abdel Salam’s only feature-length film. In his day he was known more for his marvellous set and costume design in a litany of historical Egyptian epics. Since then, ‘Al-Mumia’ has come to be rightfully considered as one of the greatest Egyptian films ever made.
It was restored in this edition by Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation who described it as an “astonishing piece of cinema”. Restored in 2009 by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project at Cineteca di Bologna /L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory in association with the Egyptian Film Center. Restoration funding provided by Armani, Cartier, Qatar Airways, Qatar Museum Authority and the Egyptian Ministry.