Chahine's hell

An excerpt from an interview with legendary Egyptian director Youssef Chahine in a German magazine, translated on

SZ: Is it difficult to find actors?

Chahine: No. I find them in Parliament. When they meet there is great applause. If I need a crowd for an opera scene, I will wait until Parliament is off so that I can get these professional applauders.

SZ: What are you working on now?

Chahine: I am currently working on a film and trying to censor myself. It is a Faustus theme, a comedy, that takes place in hell.

SZ: What does hell look like?

Chahine: More or less like Egypt.

Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region,