Friday, March 08, 2013

misc. kufiyas: Paul Robeson in "Jericho" (1937) (+ Princess Kouka)

Robeson as Jericho, Princess Kouka as Gara

I've not yet seen it, a friend (Bob) just recommended it to me. It is supposed to be one of Robeson's best film roles. He plays a US GI who gets court-martialed, ends up in North Africa, hooks up with the Touareg, marries into the tribe, marries a Touareg woman, and becomes their leader. And leads them to victory. Can't wait to see it, it's coming soon via Netflix. Bob says that the exteriors were shot in Cairo and that the crew was there a month and that Robeson was looking forward to making another movie with Umm Kalthoum.

Meanwhile, Princess Kouka, pictured above, is a well-known Egyptian actress, born Tahia Ibrahim Bilal. Among other things, she appears in the wonderful 1955 film A Cigarette and a Glass (Sigara wa Ka's), starring Samia Gamal and Dalida. Kouka plays Azza. You can rent it from Netflix, and I highly recommend that you do so.

Here's a scene for the film. Kouka sings the title song while holding, yes, a cigarette and a glass. And Samia Gamal dances. Of course it's sublime.

Dalida also has a great, sultry singing scene in the film.

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