niversally recognized as one of the greatest Egyptian films ever made, The Night of Counting the Years is based on a true story: in 1881, when precious artifacts began showing up at market, it was discovered that members of the ancient Horbat tribe were secretly raiding Deir al-Bahari, the site of a legendary cache of royal mummies. The tribe had little livelihood other than selling antiquities, putting them in conflict with the Egyptian government's Antiquities Organization. After reading the script, Roberto Rossellini agreed to lend his name to the project, and Shadi Abdel Salam's film was completed in 1969. This cinematic treat was extremely difficult to see from the 1970s onward until last year's beautiful restoration by Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Foundation. Using original 35mm camera and sound negatives preserved at the Egyptian Film Center in Giza, the restoration preserves the film's poetic beauty, its evocative sense of history, and its themes of desecration and veneration. Filmed in classical Arabic, with a musical score by the great Italian composer Mario Nascimbene. Restored in 2009 by the World Cinema Foundation at Cineteca di Bologna L'Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory. The film was restored with the support of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture.

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