Iman Mohamed - Cairo
45 years have passed since the departure of Kawkab al-Sharq, Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum on February 3, 1975, but interest in her biography and artistic career is still alive, as it is one of the most prominent and important singers of the twentieth century in Egypt and the Arab world.
In this report, we review the most important Arab and international films that embodied the life of Umm Kulthum, immortalized her memory and documented her artistic career, starting from her exit from her small village such as Fatima Ibrahim Al-Beltagi, until her arrival to the world and her singing in the name of Egypt and the Arab world in Paris.
Planet of the East in an American documentary
American director Michal Goldman chose Omar Sharif's voice to tell the story and history of Umm Kulthum in her documentary "Umm Kulthum: A Voice Like Egypt", which was shown for the first time in 1996.
The idea of the movie started with Goldman's visit to Egypt in the nineties to find herself falling in love with Umm Kulthum. Her voice is in cafes, transportation and shops, so she decided to search and study the history of this singer.
The film begins with footage from the countryside of Egypt, where Umm Kulthum was born in the center of Sinbillawain in Dakahlia Governorate (northeast of the Delta in Egypt), and then a large popular funeral scene and Omar Sharif voted with her saying, "Four million Egyptians went out to bid farewell to Umm Kulthum."
The movie included clips of her concerts, films, and clips from her songs as well, while she is still young. The film also displays live testimonies about her life, history and style of singing to large personalities, including the Egyptian novelist and writer Naguib Mahfouz, the media Amal Amal Fahmy, music critic Abdel Hamid Zaki and Maestro Salim Sahab.
The six in a global movie
Iranian director Sherine Nishat addressed the life story of Umm Kulthum in her movie "Searching for Umm Kulthum", which was presented in 2017, and is a joint production between Germany, Austria, Italy and Morocco, and the director chose Egyptian actress Yasmine Raas to introduce the main character in the film while the sound was signed by Egyptian singer Marwa Nagy in addition to For Umm Kulthum songs.
The film was shown for the first time in the 74th session of the Venice International Film Festival and the Toronto and London Film Festival, and despite the filming of the film between Morocco and Austria, its makers were keen to visit the village of Umm Kulthum in Egypt and to meet her family to learn details about her life, its beginning and the formation of her personality, which made her a strong woman, As it took six years to prepare and photograph the work.
The series "Umm Kulthum"
The late Egyptian writer Mahfouz Abdel Rahman presented with the director Inaam Mohamed Ali in 1999 the series "Umm Kulthum" in which the Egyptian actress Sabreen embodied the character of Umm Kulthum in the title role, in a work that took him many years of research, reading and auditing to write the biography of the woman who came out of Al Reef to become a global success story, and the series was able at that time to win many prizes from different parts of the Arab world and won wide fame.
Planet of the East and its emotional relationships
In the movie “The Planet of the East”, which was shown in cinema in 1999, the director Mohamed Fadel and the author Ibrahim Al-Muji chose to present a different time period for Umm Kulthum, which begins in 1944 and revealed her frequent and unsuccessful emotional relationship to address the human aspect that was not focused on before, in light of Rumors of marriages were secret, as the film also dealt with her relationship with the late Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and the 1952 revolution and its role also after the 1967 setback, and the film ends at this stage of life.
Umm Kulthum was presented in some of the works, such as the series "Nightingale .. A Story of a People" in 2006 and her character presented at the time the actress Salma Gharib, and in the series "King Farouk" in 2007 also presented her character, singer Reham Abdel Hakim, and in 2009 also presented her character, actress Farah Ismail In the series "I Am My Heart My Guide".