The Night of Counting the Years (aka The Mummy) (15*)

John Akomfrah Presents...

A still from The Night of Counting the Years (aka The Mummy)

Presented here in a digital restoration by Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation, this Egyptian classic was recently voted the greatest ever movie from the Arab world.

1881, Thebes – burial place of the Pharaohs. The Horabat mountain tribe have lived for generations by stripping artefacts from a tomb known only to themselves, and selling them on the black market. When the current chief dies, his two sons learn for the first time about the trade, and are thrown into moral chaos: reveal the secret to the authorities, or preserve what the tribesmen consider to be their natural heritage?

The film casts this story in terms of the search for an authentic, lost Egyptian national identity, while leaving open questions about desecration, veneration, and what exactly our debt should be to the past. Unusual camera angles, striking colours and an unsettling score contribute to making this what Scorsese has called “an entrancing and oddly moving experience.” 

Egypt 1969 Dir Chadi Abdel Salam 102 min Digital presentation 

Restored in 2009 by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project at Cineteca di Bologna /L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory in association with the Egyptian Film Centre. Restoration funding provided by Armani, Cartier, Qatar Airways, Qatar Museum Authority and the Egyptian Ministry of Culture.

*This film has been locally classified by the Barbican Centre

Please arrive promptly at the advertised start time

Proof of ID may be requested on entry to films, in compliance with BBFC ratings

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