• First Film Competition  
  • GNCR Award  
  • International Competition

The Three Disappearances of Soad Hosni

Rania Stephan

In the foreground there is some dust on a threadbare tape worn, then an image
vacillates, a sound crackles, the dreamy face of a woman finally appears and the
murmur of the command : “Remember !” is to be heard. Remember who? Soad
Hosni : an adored icon of the Egyptian cinema, an actress in almost one hundred
films who was born in Cairo in 1943 and who committed suicide in London in 2001.
It is the life story of this star that Rania Stephan has chosen to tell for her first feature
film. A biopic then, but, given that Rania Stephan is also a renowned film editor, it
is created solely from bits of films Hosni appeared in. With no other image than
those Hosni presented to the camera, without commentary nor voice other than
her own and those of her partners, this is, in short, Soad Hosni by herself.
But here the actress is an ideal vehicle for circulating between imagination and
reality, and her cinema, more than a dream factory, is a revelation. If the three
chapters are presented as ‘‘three disappearances’’, it is because Rania Stephan
takes us on a triple journey : firstly into the recent history of the Egyptian cinema ;
secondly into what transpires of the country’s social and political history, in the era
from Nasser to Mubarak ; and thirdly into the evolution of the place and image of
women. There is nothing abstract however, as Soad Hosni’s body fills the screen
with her glory, and her films, which are mostly VHS copies, in tactile and worn
material, feed this beautiful meditation with all the embodiment needed to maintain
the presence of her remarkable melancholy. (NF)

  • First Film Competition  
  • GNCR Award  
  • International Competition

Technical sheet

Couleur et N&B

Version originale
Musique, image, son et montage
Rania Stephan

Production et distribution
Joun Films


FIDLab 2009