1988, Naguib Mahfouz, "who, through works rich in nuance - now clear-sightedly
realistic, now evocatively ambiguous - has formed an Arabian narrative art
that applies to all mankind," was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
He was the first and is still the only Arab Nobel Laureate for Literature.
At the end of the 20th Century Mahfouz granted Francka Mouloudi rare access to make this revealing documentary with and about him. At the age of 88, half-blind, hard of hearing, and crippled by a recent assassination attempt, Mahfouz is remarkably lively, witty and lucid.
Author of the acclaimed "Cairo Trilogy," "The Harafish," "Arabian Nights and Days" and many other novels and collections of short stories, Naguib Mahfouz weaves the threads of his life together with his view of society, his childhood, his discovery of literature (Egyptian and Western), the city of Cairo (which he left only three times in his life), Islamic fundamentalism, the evolution of Egypt, the role of women, and the future of civilization.
"[Mahfouz] is not only a Hugo and a Dickens, but also a Galsworthy, a Mann, a Zola and a Jules Romains." - Edward Said, London Review of Books
"More than just a portrait, [the film] intelligently crystallizes the doubts and developments of the Egyptian society today." - Telerama
"A very beautiful portrait of Naguib Mahfouz." - Le Figaro
** 2002 African Literature
Association Film Festival