Ezz El-Dine Zulficar

Ezz El-Dine Ahmed Mourad Zulficar (Egyptian Arabic: عز الدين ذو الفقار, ‘Ezz ad-Dīne Zū al-Fiqār; October 28, 1919 – July 1, 1963) was an Egyptian film director, screenwriter, actor and producer known for his distinctive style, which blends romance and action. Zulficar is widely regarded one of the most influential filmmakers in Egyptian Cinema's golden age.[1][2][3]


Ezz El-Dine Zulficar
عزالدين ذو الفقار
Ezz El Dine Zulficar.jpg
Zulficar in 1960
Born
Ezz El-Dine Ahmed Mourad Zulficar

(1919-10-28)October 28, 1919
Cairo, Egypt
DiedJuly 1, 1963(1963-07-01) (aged 43)
Cairo, Egypt
NationalityEgyptian
Alma materEgyptian Military Academy
Occupation
  • Military officer
  • film director
  • film producer
  • screenwriter
  • actor
Spouses
(m. 1947; div. 1954)
Kawthar Shafik
(m. 1954)
ChildrenDina • Nadia
Parents
  • Ahmed Mourad Bey Zulfikar (father)
  • Nabila Hanem Zulfikar (mother)
HonoursOrder of the Republic Order of the Republic - Grand Cordon
Military career
Allegiance Egypt
Service/branchEmblem of the Egyptian Armed Forces.png Egyptian Armed Forces
Years of service1940–1947
RankCaptain
Egypt Army - OF02.svg

Early lifeEdit

Ezz El-Dine Ahmed Mourad Zulficar was born on 28 October 1919, his father Ahmed Mourad Bek Zulfikar was a senior director of police and his mother Nabila Hanem Zulfikar was a housewife. He was the fifth among eight siblings. His brother Mohamed who would grow up to be a businessman, Soad, Fekreya, Mahmoud Zulfikar, who would grow up to be a director and actor. They were followed by brothers Kamal, Salah Zulfikar, the famous actor and producer and finally Mamdouh who would grow up to be a businessman. Ezz Eldine's childhood shaped his personality, for he was attracted to sports in general, especially wrestling, swimming, and gymnastics in which he won some school championships. He was an avid reader and loved to listen to classical music. He was into buying every new record released in Egypt; a hobby he cherished until his death.

Zulficar was introduced to the cinematic world at the age of nine when his elder brother Mahmoud took him to the cinema theatre to watch Egyptian and foreign films. His passion for cinema was evident when he would watch three films in a row. If he particularly liked one movie he would watch it several times.

CareerEdit

Zulficar was a prodigy. He received a scholarship and studied astronomy. After high school, he joined the Military College to please his father, although Zulficar didn't object to the idea itself, for he saw that learning military studies would widen his perceptions. During that period, he was acquainted with a number of prominent figures that shaped Egyptian politics later on, such as presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar El Sadat, Yusuf Sibai and Tharwat Okasha and other members of the Free Officers Movement, who mounted the July 1952 Revolution. And later he was nominated twice for Minister of Culture position, but he turned down the state position for he loved film career.

 
Ezz El-Dine Zulficar

He graduated from the military faculty and later became a captain. Despite being a distinguished officer, a tragic event shook Zulficar to the core. His father, to whom he was very close, died. He suffered a depression and his brothers advised him to change his lifestyle and career. And indeed, he resigned with the rank of captain in the artillery corps to start a career in the movie business.[2][4]

At that point, Zulficar remembered his strong friendship with director Kamal Selim and their cinematic discussions. Through Selim he got to know a number of coevals who became directors: Mohamed Abdel-Gawad, Salah Abu Seif, Kamel El-Telmissany and Fatin Abdel Wahab, who had just resigned from the Armed Forces and began working in cinema. He was influenced by his brother, Mahmoud Zulfikar, who was an actor, director, actor and screenwriter. He started as director Mohamed Abdel Gawad's assistant. In 1947, he directed his first film, Prisoner of Darkness (أسير الظلام, “Aseer al-Zalam”). One of his most successful movies as a director was Back Again (رُدّ قلبي, "Rod Qalby") (1957) which was featured for six weeks in Cairo's cinemas. Not to mention his masterpiece; The River of Love (1960) starring Omar Sharif.[5][6]

In the late 1950s, Zulficar started Ezz El-Dine Zulficar Films, a production company with this younger brother Salah Zulfikar, together they produced major films including The Second Man (الرجل الثاني, “Al Rajul Al Thani”) (1959), Among the Ruins (بين الأطلال, “Bain Al Atlal”) (1959) and Struggle of the Heroes (صراع الأبطال, “Sira’ Al Abtal”) (1962). After, Zulficar's death in 1963, Salah Zulfikar continued running the company.

Zulficar also acted in Khulud (خُلود, "Immortality") along with Hamama. As a writer he was quite successful. He wrote scripts and stories for almost 30 films. His last work was the direction and scriptwriting for the film, Appointment at the Tower (موعد في البُرج, "Maw'ed Fi al-Borg") (1962) starring Salah Zulfikar and Soad Hosny. Ezz-El Dine Zulficar directed 3 films in Top 100 Egyptian films of the 20th century.[7]

Personal lifeEdit

 
Zulficar with his wife Kawthar Shafik at their home in Cairo, 1961

Zulficar met Faten Hamama while filming the Abu Zayd al-Hilali (أبو زيد الهلالي, “Abuzeid al-Hilali”) (1947), which he directed. The two fell in love and married each other. The couple had a daughter, Nadia Zulficar. Their marriage would only last for seven years, as the couple divorced in 1954. The two remained friends, and Hamama even acted in his movies after the divorce.[8]

Afterwards, Zulficar fell in love with the beautiful actress Kawthar Shafik. This love story resulted with marriage in 1954. The couple had one daughter, Dina Zulficar. They remained married until his death in 1963.

DeathEdit

Ezz El-Dine Zulficar died at the age of 43 on July 1, 1963 in Cairo, Egypt. Despite his young age, he left a great legacy in the history of Egyptian Cinema.

HonoursEdit

Selected awardsEdit

Ezz El-Dine Zulficar has received several awards throughout his career, including:

  • The second state prize in directing for the film I'm the Past 1951.
  • Prize of the Egyptian Catholic Center Film Festival for the film Wafaa, 1953
  • Prize of the Egyptian Catholic Center Film Festival for the film Appointment with Life in 1953.
  • The Lebanese Press Award for the film Appointment with Life in 1953.
  • State Prize for the best story for film, Portsaid in 1957.
  • State Prize in Production for Struggle of the Heroes in 1963.
  • State Prize for Screenplay for Struggle of the Heroes in 1963.

FilmographyEdit

DirectorEdit

Year Title Arabic Title
1947 Prisoner of the Shadows Aseer el Zalam, أسير الظلام
Abu Zayd al-Hilali Abu Zayd al-Hilali, أبو زيد الهلال
1948 Everybody is Singing Al Kol Yughanni, الكل يغني
Immortality Khulood, خلود
1949 She Has Only a Few Piastres Sahibat Al Malaleem, صاحبة الملاليم
Holiday in Hell Ajaza Fi Jahanam, اجازة في جهنم
1951 I am the Past Ana Al Madi, أنا الماضي
1952 Ask My Heart Isalou Qalbi, اسألوا قلبي
1953 The Murderer's Suspicion Shak Al Qatel, شك القاتل
Appointment with Life Maw'ed Ma' al-Hayat, موعد مع الحياة
The Night Train Qitar al-Layl, قطار الليل
1954 Wafa' Wafa', وفاء
The Farewell Dance Raqsat Al Wada', رقصة الوداع
The Local Boy Ibn Al Hara, ابن الحارة
Stronger Than Love Aqwa Min Al Hob, أقوى من الحب
1955 Date With Happiness Maw'ed Ma' Al-Hayat, موعد مع الحياة
I'm Going Inni Rahila, اني راحلة
Dearer Than My Eyes Aghla Min Aynaya, أغلى من عينايا
1956 The Shore of Memories Shate' Al Zikrayat, شاطئ الذكريات
Wakeful Eyes Uyoon Sahira, عيون سهرانة
The Absent Lady Al Gha'iba, الغائبة
1957 Port Said Bor-Said, بورسعيد
A Fugitive from Love Hareb Min Al Hub, هارب من الحب
Back Again Rodda Qalbi, رُد قلبي
1958 The Road of Hope[10] Tareeq Al Amal, طريق الأمل
A Woman on the Road Imra'a Fi Al Tareeq, امرأة في الطريق
My Heart and I Qalbi wa Ana, قلبي و أنا
1959 The Street of Love Shara'e al Hob, شارع الحب
Among the Ruins Bain el Atlal, بين الأطلال
1960 The Second Man Al Rajul al Thani, الرجل الثاني
The Girls and Summer Al Banat wa Al Sayf, البنات و الصيف
1961 The River of Love Nahr Al Hub, نهر الحب
1962 The Black Candles Al Shumou Al Sawda', الشموع السوداء
1962 Appointment at the Tower Maw'ed Fi al Burj, موعد في البرج

ScreenwriterEdit

Year Title Arabic Title
1947 Prisoner of the Shadows Aseer el Zalam, أسير الظلام
Abuzeid al-Hilali Abuzeid al-Hilali, أبو زيد الهلال
1948 Everybody is Singing Al Kol Yughanni, الكل يغني
Immortality Khulood, خلود
1949 She Has Only a Few Piastres Sahibat Al Malaleem, صاحبة الملاليم
1951 I’m the Past Ana Al Madi, أنا الماضي
1952 Ask My Heart Isalou Qalbi, اسألوا قلبي
1953 The Night Train Qitar al-Layl, قطار الليل
1954 The Farewell Dance Raqsat Al Wada', رقصة الوداع
Appointment with Life Maw'ed Ma' al-Hayat, موعد مع الحياة
The Local Boy Ibn Al Hara, ابن الحارة
Stronger Than Love Aqwa Min Al Hob, أقوى من الحب
1955 Appointment With Happiness Maw'ed Ma' Al-Sa`dah, موعد مع الحياة
I'm Going Inni Rahila, اني راحلة
Dearer Than My Eyes Aghla Min Aynaya, أغلى من عينايا
1956 The Shore of Memories Shate' Al Zikrayat, شاطئ الذكريات
The Absent Lady Al Gha'iba, الغائبة
Wakeful Eyes Oyoon Sahira, عيون ساهرة
1957 Port Said Bor-Said, بورسعيد
A Fugitive from Love Hareb Min Al Hub, هارب من الحب
Back Again Rudda Qalbi, رُد قلبي
1958 The Road of Hope Tareeq Al Amal, طريق الأمل
A Woman on the Road Imra'a Fi Al Tareeq, امرأة في الطريق
1959 Among the Ruins Bayn al Atlal, بين الأطلال
1960 The Second Man Al Rajul al Thani, الرجل الثاني
1961 The River of Love Nahr Al Hub, نهر الحب
1962 Struggle of the Heroes Sira’ Al-Abtal', صراع الأبطال
1962 Appointment at the Tower Maw'ed Fi al Burj, موعد في البرج
1963 Saladin Naser Salah al-Dine, ناصر صلاح الدين

ProducerEdit

Year Title Arabic Title
1947 Prisoner of the Shadows Aseer el Zalam, أسير الظلام
1954 Appointment with Life Maw'ed Ma' al-Hayat, موعد مع الحياة
1955 Appointment with Happiness Maw'ed Maa al-Sa'ada, موعد مع السعادة
1959 Among the Ruins Bayn al Atlal, بين الأطلال
1959 The Second Man Al Rajul al Thani, الرجل الثاني
1960 Angel and Devil Malaak wa Sheitan, ملاك وشيطان
1960 The Holy Bond Al Rebat Al Moqaddas, الرباط المقدس
1961 Without Tears Bela Domoo', بلا دموع
1962 Struggle of the Heroes Sira’ Al-Abtal', صراع الأبطال
1962 The Black Candles Al Shumou Al Sawda', الشموع السوداء

ActorEdit

Year Title Arabic Title Role
1948 Immortality Kholood, خلود Mahmoud

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Remembering Ezz Eldin Zulfikar: The romantic film pioneer - Film - Arts & Culture". Ahram Online. Retrieved 2021-09-03.
  2. ^ a b "دوره مع يوسف شاهين ووفاته فى الأربعين.. مقتطفات من حياة عز الدين ذو الفقار". Youm7 (in Arabic). 2021-07-23. Retrieved 2021-09-03.
  3. ^ "ذكرى ميلاد اليوزباشى الفنان..قصة زواج المخرج عز الدين ذو الفقار وفاتن حمامة". Youm7 (in Arabic). 2020-10-28. Retrieved 2021-09-03.
  4. ^ The Cultural Yearbook. al Idarah al-ʼAmmah lil-Thaqafah. 1960.
  5. ^ Limbrick, Peter (2020-03-10). Arab Modernism as World Cinema: The Films of Moumen Smihi. Univ of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-33056-6.
  6. ^ Creekmur, Corey K. (2013-01-11). International Film Musical. Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 978-0-7486-5430-7.
  7. ^ Armes, Roy (2008). Dictionary of African Filmmakers. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-35116-6.
  8. ^ "'Lady of Arab screen' Faten Hamama dies". Al Arabiya English. 2015-01-17. Retrieved 2021-08-29.
  9. ^ "بالأسماء.. الرئيس يمنح عدد من الفنانين وسام العلوم والفنون من الطبقة الأولى". مصراوي.كوم. Retrieved 2022-01-30.
  10. ^ "Remembering Ahmed Mazhar: The knight of Egyptian cinema". Ahram Online, Ashraf Gharib, Sunday 8 Oct 2017

External linksEdit

  • Filmography, IMDb. Retrieved on 26 November 2006.
  • Biography, Yalla Cinema. Retrieved on 26 November 2006.