Baghdad- We cannot remember the beginning of the rotation of the cinema camera in Iraq without returning to the fruitful and creative cooperation between Iraqi and Egyptian cinema, which contributed to the establishment of the lights of the seventh art in Iraq with all its aesthetic and visual loads.
And if Egypt produced the first movie (Laila) in 1927, then in 1946, Iraqi filmmakers started producing the first Iraqi movie by a group of young cinema enthusiasts. ) directed by the Egyptian artist (Ibrahim Helmy) and represented by a large number of Arab artists such as Bishara Wakim, Madiha Yousry, Nourhan, Amal Muhammad and Saeed Khalil, and from Iraq, Adel Abdel Wahab, Aziz Ali and Hudiri Abu Aziz participated in the film.
The film was shown during the days of Eid al-Adha on November 20, 1946 at King Ghazi Cinema in Baghdad, whose location was at the end of the Ummah Park on the side of Al-Tayaran Square, and achieved a good public turnout. As for its presentation in Cairo, it was on January 23, 1947 in Luxe cinema.
The day “Ibn al-Sharq” was shown became a holiday for Iraqi cinema, celebrated by Iraqi filmmakers, but after a while some objected to it because it was not purely Iraqi, and they replaced it with the movie “Fitna and Hassan” directed by Haider Al-Omar in 1954.
The success of the movie (Ibn Al-Sharq) prompted Ismail Sharif, owner of Al-Hamra Cinema in Baghdad, in cooperation with the Artists Union in Cairo, which includes director Ahmed Badrakhan, photographer Abdel Halim Nasro, and makeup artist at the time, Helmy Rafla, to produce the movie (Cairo-Baghdad), starring the dean of the Iraqi theater, Haqi Al-Shibli. In front of the artist Madiha Yousry.
And the movie “Ibn al-Sharq” tells the story of an Iraqi young man named Adel who studies medicine in Cairo. He meets a girl he loves and betrothed to her, but soon discovers that she is a playful girl who is trying to deceive and entrap him, and the film ends with his return to his lover after he has discovered a medicine for a serious illness.
About the film, film artist Muhammad Abu Youssef told Al Jazeera Net that “the films (Ibn Al-Sharq) and (Cairo-Baghdad) were produced in the same period, led by an Egyptian technical team and the Iraqi championship with representatives from Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon, similar stories that did not achieve the expected success that was achieved. In other Arab films, and thus the experience was not repeated later because it did not achieve the goal of creating discreet cinematic works.”
While film critic Mahdi Abbas told Al-Jazeera Net that “the film was an experiment in co-production that almost hit the goal of achieving other works in this field, but it did not continue with the same optimistic spirit in co-production.”
Abbas continued, “But as an experience at the Iraqi box office level, it was successful, and the film achieved good public success when it was shown, but unfortunately today, there is no copy of the film available, neither in Iraq nor in Egypt.”
As for the former director of Iraqi cinema, Faisal Al Abbasi, he told Al Jazeera Net that “the film is simple, even in its direction, and he tried to present us with a good image of joint cooperation in cinema, and I hoped that the experience would continue in better films.”
He continued, “During 40 years, we presented more mature experiences in joint cooperation, as in the Al-Qadisiyah movie, in which we gathered many stars of Arab art, as well as in the King Faisal II movie, in which many Iraqi and Egyptian artists represented. It was very good experiences, and I hope that these will return Shared cinematic experiences.