Anthology Film Archives


October 18 – October 24

Bursting onto the scene with his first feature film, SUMMER THEFTS, in 1988, Yousry Nasrallah reinvigorated Egyptian cinema with this devastating portrait of childhood friendship and its various permutations as the characters grow into adulthood during the turbulent social and cultural upheaval of the 1960s. Since then, Nasrallah’s work has been at the forefront of Egyptian cinema, exploring different genres and themes, never shying away from turning popular convention on its head.
The cast of vagabonds and outsiders populating his films – often living on the margins of a society that has long discounted them – transcend the usual depiction of Egyptians and provide a crucial window into the soul of a nation, one caught between the incurable nostalgia of the past and the fraught realities of the present. Nasrallah’s films, such as MERCEDES (1993) and EL-MADINA (1999) are vibrant, satirical portraits of modern Egypt, unflinchingly examining societal decay and the pervading sense of unease and despair. This retrospective will take a keen look into Nasrallah’s influential body of work, revealing how it negotiated the realities of post-Nasser Mubarak Egypt, and served as a portend of the revolutionary events to come.

This program is presented by ArteEast, a New York-based not-for-profit organization. Since 2003, ArteEast has been the leading visibility platform, support structure, and dissemination hub for art practices from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and its diaspora. ArteEast complements on-site public programs with a range of online initiatives and publications to promote regional arts production with international audiences. It is in the unique position of championing MENA artists while fostering an international dialogue around their work and offering new audiences a nuanced perspective on the region’s cultural context. For more information, visit:

The retrospective has been curated by Mohammad Shawky Hassan, Director of Film Programs at ArteEast, and made possible through the generous support of the New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Consulate General of Egypt in New York, Misr International Films, The Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies at NYU, The Middle East Institute at Columbia University, and several individual donors. A special thank you to Magda Saleh, Marianne Khoury and Yasmin Desouki for all their efforts for this program, as well as to Postworks/Slate Media Group, who have provided technical support; for more info visit:

Thurs, Oct 18 at 8:00pm - MERCEDES
Fri, Oct 19 at 6:30pm - THE CITY
Sat, Oct 20 at 4:00pm - Short Films
Sat, Oct 20 at 6:00pm - GATE OF THE SUN
Sun, Oct 21 at 8:30pm - ON BOYS AND GIRLS
Mon, Oct 22 at 9:00pm - SUMMER THEFTS
Tues, Oct 23 at 9:00pm - THE AQUARIUM

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