Samir Farid .. Albstani!
By: Essam Zakarea
Egypt, Cairo | Monday - 10 April, 2017:
By: Essam Zakaria
I approached film critic Samir Farid through our work at the Cairo International Film Festival, which he presided over for one course, which many now have been one of the best. Although we have met many times apart for more than a quarter of a century, the first was when he took over the Ismailia Film Festival I went to cover the festival for the first time in my life ... this festival, which I now chair, while Samir Farid left our world, which leaves me with a twinge and a double sadness because I wished I could read Or listen to his opinion at the festival To come.
Samir Farid was one of the most productive Egyptians, the most regular, organized and systematic. He has been collecting for over half a century his work spanning a variety of careers: the film critic specializing in the writing of scientific studies on films and their makers, the screenwriter who writes the news and technical inquiries, the writer of film and festival reviews, the film historian and the cultural activist who organizes and organizes festivals And programs. In all these professions you will notice that Samir Farid has a well-organized scientific mind, such as a Swiss watch.
I know Samir Farid through the many books I have read, which I keep most, if not all, in my library. Before joining the press profession, when I was still a fan of cinema and culture, reading his books and journal articles was fundamental to my cultural composition and, perhaps, to our entire generation. His categorical and sometimes categorical rulings on Egyptian and international filmmakers and filmmakers imposed themselves on our tastes and opinions. We could not evaluate, resist or agree with them until after many years of experience and maturity.
There is no doubt that, in terms of influence, Samir Farid is the owner of the strongest and most influential personality among the critics, which earned his writings a kind of power, eager to win the hearts of filmmakers, and envied by critics.
Samir Farid possessed a frightening "patriarchal" influence that any critic would wish. He is one of a generation of critics who began their work in the 1960s and fused into a whirlpool of ideas, policies, revolutions, doctrines, cinematic trends and feature films that emerged in the 1960s. It is perhaps the most important decade in the history of world cinema, Modern Egypt, and the most vocal ambitions and refractions, hopes and hopes.
Politics has left many prominent imprints on the writings of this generation, including film critics. They have brought to us a vision of art that combines aesthetic taste with political attitude that is not only difficult to get rid of, but also makes it an attempt to get rid of it, often accompanied by a sense of moral and national guilt ... This is the perception that the issue of separation between art and politics is like the battle of separation between religion and politics, Where they live.
Samir Farid was one of the most fluent and enthusiastic figures of this vision, but he was also one of the first to rebel against this perception from inside his camp.
In fact, Samir Farid's early attempts to get rid of the rigid dogmatic perception of art as a committed and patriotic political activity, and perhaps also "nationalist" and "socialist" necessarily, caused many declared and undeclared conflicts with co-workers, 1960s intellectuals and "politicized" readers. , The best ruler and judge, has proved that Samir Farid was the owner of a far vision and opinion pierced in most of these battles .. They are still fighting the occasion in different forms and names. In all these battles - almost - you will notice that Samir Farid is standing on the river bank of the most progressive and liberal and more faith in the future and youth.
Among his generation and the next generation, he will find the first to welcome and adopt "Independent Cinema" and its makers, and the first to welcome and celebrate the film press and the new film magazines from "Art VII" to "Godwin's Cinema" and the first to welcome new ideas and styles of young directors. Had he followed his daily column, which was published in Al-Masry Al-Youm for many years, you will find that he did not leave a job or a youth film activity that he did not pay attention to even if many of them are not worth it. But the principled position and the firm faith in the future.
I must mention that I disagree with Samir Farid and his successors on many occasions, about films, figures or political views. More than once he has publicly criticized him in published writings, but he has not, to the right, turned this dispute into personal rivalry. On the good relationship and mutual respect between us, and never sought the usual Egyptians to search for, or invention, the reasons and motives imaginary behind this criticism.
This leads me to the second side where I met Samir Farid, the personal acquaintance and fellowship that connected us after I became a journalist and a film critic who brings us work together and film events sometimes.
I remember, when I was preparing an introduction to my translation of the shame of the Bengali writer Taslima Nasreen in about 1996, that Mr. Samir knew it by chance during our conversation. He invited me to visit him and gave me a newspaper file he collected about the writer and her work. To realize the value of this file, the reader must remember that the world at the time was without Google or Wikipedia, and Egypt was without the Internet. We did not have an archive or anything we could refer to except what we collect in our homes from books, magazines, newspapers and press clippings in all the languages we know. In addition, the relationship between us was just a professional acquaintance, and added that he did not ask to restore that file, which I still keep so far.
Samir Farid has an archive of film and paper classified in the old way, similar to the archives of major institutions that have looted most of its archives over the years. What he did with me was not an exception, but his nature and habit.
Sameer Farid As you mentioned, he had an initial enthusiasm for every new and young, and he often helped or adopted "talents" which later proved to be modest, which is normal by the way. Because if you are going to encourage the new, it is not your role to take tests and assessments before you see this. the new. The gardener can not purify the healthy flowers from the patient before he has nursed them and nurtured them to grow first. Or, as the popular proverb says: "For the roses ... the blackberry ..." Samir Farid has watered many wonderful flowers and some "blackberries" The end, history will only preserve the wonderful works and talents he preached, and the wonderful writings that we have enjoyed, and remained for generations to come.