The Land | Chicago Reader

The Land

Virtually all the features of Egyptian filmmaker Youssef Chahine are ambitious, but this energetic 1969 saga in color, about farmworkers in a village on the Nile delta during the 30s, is a particular watershed. Based on a novel by Abderrahmane Cherkaoui that's said to be well-known in Arab countries, it combines social criticism with entertainment and melodrama with lyricism as flamboyantly as Chahine's later Destiny, though in this case his models of epic filmmaking tend to be Soviet more than Hollywood. In Arabic with subtitles. 130 min.

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