“I can’t deal with the current audience, and the quality of films they prefer for entertainment,” director Daoud Abdel Sayed announced his retirement from directing, in his recent interview on CBC on the “Evening with Qaswa” program.
The director, nicknamed the philosopher of cinema, who suffers from producers’ reluctance to work, added in his meeting that funding goes to entertainment films, and the audience is now looking for entertainment, not discussing issues, nor looking for something real in the human soul.
The Egyptian director criticized the strong influence of American cinema on scenes without real value, such as the scenes of the hero smashing cars or carrying weapons and hitting bullets, as they are transmitted scenes, but American cinema presents it professionally and with a stronger artistic plot.
Daoud Abdel Sayed added that in the past, the audience had a middle class with different segments, and the audience had concerns and interests, so the cinema addressed this category. Although he was targeting the entire audience in his work, the response was coming from the most educated and young people. For example, in his movie “Citizen, Detective and Thief”, the audience interacted with the work for the presence of Shaaban Abdel Rahim, whose presence in the film was because the role is suitable for him, not because he is a creative actor.
movie by chance
This decision comes with the Egyptian director’s previous statements that he has many scenarios, but he does not find the production that is enthusiastic to present his works, and thus Daoud Abdel Sayed – born on November 23, 1946 – ends an artistic career that he started at the end of the sixties of the last century, specifically in 1968, when he worked as an assistant director in the movie “The Man Who Lost His Shadow”, to change the course of his life after that.
Abdel Sayed did not dream of art or cinema, but wanted to work as a journalist, but he loved cinema by chance when he went with his cousin to Jalal’s studio, in addition to watching the movie “Black Orpheus” directed by Marcel Camus, which was greatly influenced by him at the time, so he decided To join the Film Institute, and indeed he was in the fifth batch of the institute with directors Ali Badrakhan and Khairy Bishara, and Daoud graduated from the institute in 1967, the year of the setback.
Daoud Abdel Sayed did not like the idea of working as an assistant director, despite his work with major directors at the time, such as Youssef Chahine in the movie “The Land”, but he did not feel that the matter was as creative as it was an administrative work, and decided to go into his own experience.
The time period in which Daoud Abdel Sayed lived and witnessed many political events, then his experience of the 1967 defeat and other events, made him preoccupied with political, intellectual and humanitarian issues as well, which was evident in his works that bear human and aesthetic experiences as well, and he began with his documentary film “The Will of a Wise Man.” About Village Affairs and Education.” The film was dedicated at the time to the Dean of Arabic literature, Taha Hussein, who called for free education, then “Working in the Field” and “On People, Prophets and Artists.”
Daoud Abdel Sayed’s transfer to directing and his passion for cinema did not make him run behind many works. Since his first feature film “The Tramps” began in 1985, until his last movie “Extraordinary abilities” 2015, he presented only 9 films, which he worked on carefully, so he used to write The script itself is in addition to the direction, except for “The Land of Dreams” written by Hani Fawzy.
Daoud says in his statements about writing his films, “When I write the script, I have theoretically defined many things in the directing style, and the directing phase comes in implementation of my conception of the film.”
Daoud Abdel Sayed adopted the magical realism style in his nine films, which he presented over a period of 25 years, since he presented his first films, “The Tramps”. In his next films, “The Joy Thief” and “Kit Kat”, the Egyptian director was interested in presenting marginalized models on the side of life trying to achieve some dreams, in addition to some indirect political projections included in his works.
Abdul Sayed Jida monitors human relations, concerns and aspirations of his heroes in “Land of Fear” and “Letters of the Sea” and his latest film, “Extraordinary Capabilities” (2015), as if he wanted to tame the harsh life experienced by the socially marginalized through his works that expressed this class in a way. Highly realistic, encapsulating the aesthetics of the image and writing.
In addition to his interest in the intellectual content and the human dimension, his films were also distinguished by an aesthetic sense as a director with a fingerprint and a unique school. The music of Rajeh Daoud, and Onsi Abu Seif’s decorations also contributed to highlighting these aesthetics.
Awards and Honors
During his career, Daoud Abdel-Sayed managed to win many awards and honors, since his first film “The Tramps”, which won the first work award from the Aswan Academic Festival. His second film, “Searching for Sayed Marzouk,” won more than one award, including the Silver Pyramid Award from the Cairo Film Festival, and the “Kharbaka” Festival award for African cinema in Morocco.
As for the movie “Kit Kat”, it won the Golden Award from the Damascus Festival, the Screenplay Award from the Arab World Institute Festival in Paris, a prize at the Alexandria Film Festival, the National Film Festival Award, and the Egyptian Cinema Oscar Award for Best Screenplay and Direction.
The film “The Thief of Joy” won the Bronze Award from the Damascus Film Festival, the Audience Award from the Sorrento Festival in Italy, and “The Land of Dreams” won the Silver Pyramid Award from the Cairo Festival, and his film “Letters of the Sea” was ranked among the 100 best Arab films from the Dubai Film Festival. In 2013, and in 2018, Daoud Abdel Sayed was honored by the El Gouna Film Festival.