The Night of Counting the Years, a.k.a. The Mummy المومياء... يوم أن تحصى السنين

Hi everyone :slight_smile:

I plan to create a course based on the Egyptian movie “The Night of Counting the Years”

Here’s a rough, unedited, version of what I plan to do:

Later, I will cut the movie into smaller segments, and create simple beginner and intermediate lessons based on them, with notes and translations, and I hope to have the time to add a complete audio commentary, but now, the first lesson, with the first part of the film, is marked Advanced1 (I will import the second part tomorrow)

Still, anyone can watch the first part starting from now, because the English subtitles are available on YouTube.

Comments and suggestions are welcome :slight_smile:

Here’s what Martin Scorsese said about the movie, before restoring it with the help of his “World Cinema Foundation”:

“…The Night of Counting the Years… (is) rightfully acknowledged as one of the greatest Egyptian films ever made. (It) is based on a true story: in 1881, precious objects from the Tanite dynasty started turning up for sale, and it was discovered that the Horabat tribe had been secretly raiding the tombs of Thebes… (The film) was extremely difficult to see from the 1970s onward. I managed to screen a 16mm print which had gone magenta. Yet I still found it entrancing… the almost ceremonial movement of the camera, the desolate settings, the classical Arabic spoken on the soundtrack, the unsettling score by the great Italian composer Mario Nascimbene – they all work… to contribute to the feeling of fateful inevitability.”

The movie is one of the rare “Standard Arabic” Egyptian movies, so it’s a good opportunity for context based Arabic learning.

The following is the movie summary, from “The Internet Archive”:

"Egyptian critics consistently list “The Night of Counting the Years” (also known as “The Mummy”) as one of the most important Egyptian films, and perhaps the most important one, but it remains largely unknown, both within Egypt and elsewhere, despite winning a number of awards at European film festivals.

Set in 1881, on the eve of British colonial rule, it is based on a true story: an Upper Egyptian clan had been robbing a cache of mummies near the village of Qurna, and selling the artifacts on the black market. After a conflict within the clan, one of its members went to the police, helping the Antiquities Service find the cache.

The film casts this story in terms of the search for an authentic, lost Egyptian national identity (represented by the neglected and misunderstood artifacts of ancient Egyptian civilization), but the conflict between city and countryside suggests questions that are not resolved in the film, making it an ambiguous, unsettling reflection on the price of identity.

Unusual camera angles, striking colours and slow editing give the film a dreamlike quality, reinforced by Mario Nascimbene’s eerie music. For those who know Arabic, the dialogue is entirely in classical Arabic, which adds to the sense of unreality."

(The movie is in the Public Domain)

This is really great! It will definitely be more manageable when you cut the film into smaller pieces, but I’m enjoying it already. I continue to be impressed by the creativity of your lessons :slight_smile:

Hi Kelsey, I really like this movie, so, I’m really glad you are enjoying it :slight_smile: , and sure, it will be much easier to study the script after I cut the movie, but it might take sometime to finish the cutting and to start importing the lessons, so, if you have any questions concerning the movie and its script at their current state, feel free to ask them :slight_smile: and thank you for the remark about my lessons :slight_smile:

I forgot to post the link to the second part:

Enjoy :slight_smile: