Yacoubian Building (I'marat Ya'coubian)

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Yacoubian Building (I'marat Ya'coubian)

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Many lives, different stories, one city, one building…The Yacoubian Building. Adapted from the best selling novel of the same name, this Cairo buiding embodies wide reaching aspects of the capital, exploring love, power, sex, homosexuality, fundamentalism and politics. The film is fascinating with its colourful spectrum of classes, characters, families and narratives, tackled with unflinching boldness and humour.
Consistently compelling' - Empire ''A revealing window into the secular world of a modern Islamic country.'' The Hollywood Reporter

Nominations and Awards

Berlin International Film Festival. Tribeca Film Festival. Won International Jury Award at Sao Paulo International Film Festival.


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Film Title Yacoubian Building (I'marat Ya'coubian)
Director Marwan Hamed
Country Egyptian film - Arab film
Year 2005
Genre Feature Film
Length 172 min
Certification 15 - Contains strong bloody violence
Language Arabic
Subtitles English
Starring Adel Imam, Yossra, Nour El Sherif, Hend Sabry, Basem El Samra
DVD region 2
Synopsis Many lives...Different stories...One city...One building...The Yacoubian Building. Adapted from the best-selling novel of the same name, The Yacoubian Building in the city of Cairo embodies every aspect of Egypt's capital, from its architecture and history, to its complex labyrinth of stories exploring love and power, sex and politics. Crossing a spectrum of classes, characters, families and narratives, director Marwan Hamed's adaptation of Dr Alaa Aswany's novel, turns one of Cairo's oldest buildings into an intricate depiction of the city at broad reaching levels of the social and emotional scale. Tackling everything from Islamic fundamentalism to homosexcuality and corruption, the Yacoubian Building gives us a lively, sometimes harsh and often humerous look at modern Egyptian society.
Director Profile Director Marwan Hamed is a young Egyptian filmmaker. His first big-screen film, Lily, won prizes at Carthage and other festivals. Critics consider his most important film to date to be Imarat Ya’qubian (2006, The Yacoubian Building ), which was chosen as one of the hundred most important Egyptian films by a committee headed by the veteran critic Amed El-Hadari.
Actor Profile Actor Adel Imam is one of the biggest stars in Egypt and famous throughout the Arab world. He has appeared in over 100 movies and 10 plays. He is probably the most famous actor in Egypt or the Arab world. His roles have displayed a wide range of humour including slapstick, farce, and double entendre. Films he has starred in include Embassy in the Building (Al Safara Fil A'amara), 2005, playing a Cairene everyman inconvenienced when the Embassy of Israel moves into his apartment building, and Terrorism and Kebab (1992), a tragi-comedy denouncing the absurdity of bureaucracy in modern Egypt, and his portrayal of the aristocrat in The Yacoubian Building. In January 2000, the United Nations appointed him as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR . Youssra is an Egyptian actress and singer. She made her screen debut in the 1980 film Smartest yet Stupidestand has since acted in over 30 films, mostly with co-star and leading actor Adel Imam. She also starred in a number of popular television dramas. In 2006, she took a supporting role in The Yacoubian Building, a star-laden adaptation of the novel of the same name. Hind Sabri was born in Tunisia and now works primarily in Egypt. She first appeared in the classic Tunisian film Silence of the Palaces (1994) when she was fourteen years old. She has since starred in over 20 movied including Citizen Brando (2010), Heliopolis (2009), Ibrahim Labyad (2009), Whatever Lola Wants (2007), Yacoubian Building (2005), Malek wa ketaba (2005), Ahla al awkat (2004), A Citizen, An Inspector and a Thief (2001). Actor Bassem Samra During the past 12 years, Bassem Samra has secured a position in the ranks of the nation’s leading art-house actors. His controversial role in The Yacoubian Building has made him recognizable beyond the Arab region, excellently portraying the character of the simple soldier from the country, seduced by the urbanite gay aristocrat. He has worked under leading directors such as Youssef Chahine, Youssry Nasrallah, and Mohamed Khan. Samra also starred in several acclaimed shorts like Rotating Square, 2002 by Ahmed Hassouna, and Today is 30 November 2004 by Mahmoud Soliman. For the latter, he clenched the Best Actor Award at the Third Tangier Film Festival in 2005. Samra has also made a handful of television appearances, the most important of which were in director Khairy Beshara’s Salt of the Earth, 2005 and recently in Habiba’s Heart.