Sunday,22 July, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1256, (30 July - 5 August 2015)
Sunday,22 July, 2018
Issue 1256, (30 July - 5 August 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Sunrise and sunset

Obituary: Raafat Al-Mihi (1940-2015)

Al-Ahram Weekly

Raafat Al-Mihi, one of Egypt’s most innovative filmmakers, passed away last Friday at the Armed Forces Hospital in Maadi.

Born on 25 September 1940, Al-Mihi studied English literature at the Faculty of Arts at Cairo University and later graduated from the Academy of Arts’ film department in 1964. He began his career as a screenwriter, with Sayed Eissa’s Jaffat Al-Amtar (The Rains Have Dried, 1967), starring Shoukri Sarhan, Samiha Ayoub and Naima Wasfi, followed by Al-Hob Alladhi Kan (The Love that Was, 1973), with Soad Hosni and Mahmoud Yassin. His experimental talent began to show in his 1970s collaboration with the late filmmaker Kamal Al-Sheikh, with whom he worked on Ghoroub wa Shurouq (Sunset and Sunrise, 1970), featuring Soad Hosni, Roshdi Abaza, Salah Dhul-Fuqar and Mahmoud Al-Meligi, Shei’ fi Sadri (Something Within Me, 1971), based on a novel by Ihsan Abdel-Qudous and featuring Roshdi Abaza, Magda Al-Khattib, Hoda Sultan and Shokri Sarhan, as well as Ala Mann Nutliq Al-Rassas (Whom Should We Shoot, 1975) featuring Soad Hosni, Mahmoud Yassin and Ezzat Al-Alaili.  

In 1981 Al-Mihi directed his first film, Oyoun La Tanam (Sleepless Eyes), starring Ahmed Zaki, Farid Shawki and Madiha Kamel. In Al-Avocato (The Lawyer, 1984), he introduced one of his most brilliant characters, Hassan Sabanekh (the second name means “spinach”), a corrupt penniless lawyer who collaborates with high-profile figures to make his fortune. The film starred Adel Imam, Youssra and Hussein Al-Sherbini.

He also made Lil Hob Qissa Akhira (One Last Story for Love, 1986), Al-Sada Al-Regal (Gentlemen, 1987), in which Maali Zayed – married to Mahmoud Abdel-Aziz – decides to turn into a man and Samak Laban Tamr Hindi (Hodgepodge, 1988), also starring Mahmoud Abdel-Aziz and Maali Zayed. With the same duo along with Youssef Dawoud, Abla Kamel, Aisha Al-Killani and Ashraf Abdel-Baki, he made Anisati Sadati (Ladies and Gentlemen) in 1990. Another two films were Qalil minal Hob Kathyer minal ‘Unf (A little Love, More Violence, 1995), Meit Foll (Everything is Great, 1996) and Alashan Rabbena Yehebbak (So that God Will Love You, 2001).

The television series Wekalet Attia was his last work in 2009.

Al-Mihi was an active figure in the film industry, pushing for greater freedom and more creativity not only with his films but with a series of production companies. His most recent production was the acclaimed short film Merabet Nareng (Bitter Orange Jam, 2014) by Ola Ezzeldine Hamouda. Al-Mihim also founded the Raafat Al-Mihi Academy for Cinema in 2003, giving the widest range of film lovers the opportunity to study directing, screenwriting, acting and editing.

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