Iraqi film critic and historian Mahdi Abbas reviews Iraqi films


Aug 2023

The second Iraqi movie:
Cairo Baghdad
Ismail Sharif is one of the most famous film distributors in Iraq, and he owned a famous movie house, Al-Hamra Cinema. Haqqi Al-Shibli (1913-1985) was the most famous theater actor in Iraq at that time. Ismail Sharif and Haqi Al-Shibli agreed to enter into a joint film production with Egypt, specifically with the Union of Technicians Company, which included three of the great Egyptian filmmakers, namely the great director Ahmed Badrakhan (1909-1969) and the famous director of photography Abdel Halim Nasr (1913-1989) and the make-up artist who turned To be directed later by Helmy Rafla (1909-1978)
The Iraqi artist Haqqi al-Shibli played the starring role in this film opposite the able Egyptian actress Madiha Yousry. Mr. Haqqi al-Shibli not only participated in his acting performance, but also contributed with screenwriter Youssef Gohar in writing the story of the film. The interior scenes of the film were filmed in Studio Misr while External views were taken in both Cairo and Baghdad. The film was screened for the first time on March 10, 1947 in Al-Hamra Cinema and Al-Ardomli Cinema in Baghdad (for your information, it was screened before it was shown in Cairo, where it was shown on 4-21-1947 in Cairo). So that the largest number of spectators can watch Iraqi artists in the second cinematic meeting with Egyptian artists. The film did not achieve great success because its story was strange, as the travels between Baghdad and Cairo seemed to be fabricated events, which did not make it a coherent dramatic entity. He shelters him, and since the Iraqi young man works as a writer, he continues to work in writing newspapers and magazines in the name of his friend. Then his friend had a beautiful daughter who kept taking care of him until he fell in love with her, and so did she, so he asked her to marry his friend who knows his secret. The friend agrees that the Iraqi young man will marry the Egyptian girl, and the events follow, and the matter of his uncle’s killer is revealed and he confesses. He sends an Iraqi friend to the young man in Cairo to inform him of what happened in his case, and he has been acquitted. The Iraqi young man decides to return to his homeland, accompanied by his wife and the daughter of the loyal friend who took care of him in Cairo.

Movie card:

  • Duration: 110 minutes
  • Starring: Haqqi Al-Shibli – Madiha Yousry – Bishara Wakim – Salman Al-Johar – Ibrahim Jalal – Afifa Iskandar – Abdulaziz Khalil – Thuraya Fakhry – Riyad Al-Qasabji – Ahmed Darwish – Abdul-Majid Shukri
  • Story and dialogue: Youssef Johar – Haqqi Al-Shibli
  • Script and directed by: Ahmed Badrakhan
  • Photography: Abdel Halim Nasr
  • Editing: Abdel Hamid Abdel Fattah
  • Sound engineer: Mustafa Wali
  • Produced by: Union of Technicians and Al-Hamra Cinema
  • Production and Make-up Director: Helmy Rafla
  • Distribution: teams here
  • Lyrics: Bayram Al-Tunisi and Issa Al-Amartli
  • Composed by: Muhammad Fawzi, Ezzat Al-Jahili and Mahmoud Al-Sharif
  • Decorator: Antoine Polizois


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About the Festival

Baghdad Film Festival is a non-profit organization dedicated to spreading, promoting and enriching cinematic culture, by encouraging the audience to participate and interact, support filmmakers, and develop and activate the cinematic industry in Iraq and the Arab countries

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