The World Cinema Project (WCP) is dedicated to preserving and restoring neglected films from around the world. To date, 28 films from Mexico, South America, Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Central and Southeast Asia, have been restored, preserved and exhibited for a global audience. All WCP titles are available for exhibition rental by clicking "Book This Film."


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INDONESIA | 1954

AFTER THE CURFEW

LEWAT DJAM MALAM

by Usmar Ismail

WRITTEN BY: Usmar Ismail, Asrul Sani

EDITING: Sumardjono

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Max Tera

MUSICAL DIRECTOR: G.R.W. Sinsu

SOUND: B. Saltzmann

FROM: Sinematek Indonesia

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Persari, Perfini

STARRING: A.N. Alcaff (Iskandar), Netty Herawaty (Norma), R.D. Ismail (Gunawan)

COUNTRY OF PRODUCTION: Indonesia

LANGUAGE: Indonesian

COLOR INFO: Black and White

RUNNING TIME: 101

SET DESIGNER: Abdul Chalid

Restored in 2012 by the National Museum of Singapore and Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, Konfiden Foundation, Kineforum of the Jakarta Arts Council, and the family of Usmar Ismail Estate. Restoration funded by Doha Film Institute.

Lewat Djam Malam (After the Curfew) is a passionate work looking directly at a crucial moment of conflict in Indonesian history: the aftermath of the four-year Republican revolution which brought an end to Dutch rule. This is a visually and dramatically potent film about anger and disillusionment, about the dream of a new society cheapened and misshapen by government repression on the one hand and bourgeois complacency on the other.

The film’s director, Usmar Ismail, is generally considered to be the father of Indonesian cinema, and his entire body of work was directly engaged with ongoing evolution of Indonesian society. He began as a playwright and founder of Maya, a drama collective that began during the years of Japanese occupation. And it was during this period when Ismail developed an interest in filmmaking. He began making films for Andjar Asmara in the late 40s and then started Perfini (Perusahaan Film Nasional Indonesian) in 1950, which he considered his real beginning as a filmmaker. Lewat Djam Malam, a co-production between Perfini and Djamaluddin Malik’s company Persari, was perhaps Ismail’s greatest critical and commercial success.


NOTES ON THE RESTORATION:

Lewat Djam Malam has been digitally restored using the original 35mm camera & sound negatives, interpositive, and positive prints preserved at the Sinematek Indonesia. The original camera negative was scanned at 4K resolution.

The digital restoration began by focusing on fixing instability and flicker followed by the meticulous work of dirt removal, carried out both by automatic tools and by a long manual process of digitally cleaning each image (frame by frame). The film also suffered from signs of mould and vinegar syndrome –the laboratory took great pains to address these problems without damaging the definition of the photographic output, specifically with regards to details and faces.

The original sound was digitally restored using the 35 mm original soundtrack negative. Two reels were missing from the soundtrack negative, and were therefore taken from the combined interpositive. The last 2 minutes of reel 5 were missing from all available elements, but were recovered from a positive copy. The soundtrack has been scanned using laser technology at 2K definition. The core of the digital sound restoration consists on several phases of manual editing, high resolution de-clicker & de-crackle, and multiple layers of fully automated noise reduction.

The restoration was completed at L’immagine Ritrovata laboratory on March 2012.

Image: © Courtesy of the Usmar Estate


EGYPT | 1969

AL MOMIA

NIGHT OF COUNTING THE YEARS, THE

by Shadi Abdel Salam

WRITTEN BY: Shadi Abdel Salam

EDITING: Kamal Abou El Ella

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Abdel Aziz Fahmi

MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Mario Nascimbene

FROM: Egyptian Film Centre

STARRING: Ahmed Marei (Wannis), Ahmed Hegazi (Brother), Zouzou Hamdi El Hakim (Mother), Nadia Lofti (Zeena)

COUNTRY OF PRODUCTION: Egypt

LANGUAGE: Arabic with French and English subtitles

COLOR INFO: Color

RUNNING TIME: 103 minutes

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Egyptian General Cinema Organization

SET DESIGNER: Salah Marei

Restored in 2009 by Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, and the Egyptian Film Center. Restoration funded by Armani, Cartier, Qatar Airways, Qatar Museum Authority and the Egyptian Ministry of Culture.  

Momia, which is commonly and rightfully acknowledged as one of the greatest Egyptian films ever made, is based on a true story: in 1881, precious objects from the Tanite dynasty started turning up for sale, and it was discovered that the Horabat tribe had been secretly raiding the tombs of the Pharaohs in Thebes. A rich theme, and an astonishing piece of cinema. The picture was extremely difficult to see from the 70s onward. I managed screen a 16mm print which, like all the prints I’ve seen since, had gone magenta. Yet I still found it an entrancing and oddly moving experience, as did many others. I remember that Michael Powell was a great admirer. Momia has an extremely unusual tone – stately, poetic, with a powerful grasp of time and the sadness it carries. The carefully measured pace, the almost ceremonial movement of the camera, the desolate settings, the classical Arabic spoken on the soundtrack, the unsettling score by the great Italian composer Mario Nascimbene – they all work in perfect harmony and contribute to the feeling of fateful inevitability. Past and present, desecration and veneration, the urge to conquer death and the acceptance that we, and all we know, will turn to dust… a seemingly massive theme that the director, Shadi Abdel Salam, somehow manages to address, even emobody with his images. Are we obliged to plunder our heritage and everything our ancestors have held sacred in order to sustain ourselves for the present and the future? What exactly is our debt to the past? The picture has a sense of history like no other, and it’s not at all surprising that Roberto Rossellini agreed to lend his name to the project after reading the script. And in the end, the film is strangely, even hauntingly consoling – the eternal burial, the final understanding of who and what we are… am very excited that Shadi Abdel Salam’s masterpiece has been restored to original splendor. 
–Martin Scorsese, May 2009


NOTES ON THE RESTORATION:

The restoration of Al Momia used the original 35mm camera and sound negatives preserved at the Egyptian Film Center in Giza. The digital restoration produced a new 35mm internegative. The film was restored with the support the Egyptian Ministry of Culture.

Image: © Courtesy of Egyptian Film Centre


MOROCCO | 1978

ALYAM, ALYAM

by Ahmed El Maanouni

WRITTEN BY: Ahmed El Maanouni

EDITING: Martine Chicot

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Ahmed El Maanouni

MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Nass el Ghiwane

SOUND: Ricardo Castro

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Rabii Films

STARRING: Toualàa villagers (Oulad Ziane) in the Casablanca region, and in particular: Abdelwahad and his family, Tobi, Afandi Redouane and Ben Brahim

COUNTRY OF PRODUCTION: Morocco

LANGUAGE: Arabic, French with English subtitles

COLOR INFO: B&W

RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes

Restored by Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with Ahmed El Maanouni.  Restoration funded by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project. 

Alyam, Alyam is a film about shattered dreams and the circumstances leading up to that point; about the shaking of the traditional social structure; about the strength born of desperation and the unrelenting dissipation of lost generations. This is stressed from the first notes of the opening music, by the strangely empty building frame that is slowly filled with people, by the village space, by the silence of the wandering woman who smokes, until the last shot of the film, when a crowd appears from behind a deserted hill. The dreams of a society growing smaller, unable to hold on to the resources that could help it survive, are mirrored by the mother’s helpless prayer, “I need your shadow, I need your light, I need your face.”

I simply wanted to show the farmers’ faces, to honor their sounds and their images, their silences and their words, and that’s why I chose not to interfere and to opt for deliberately restrained composition, movement and mise-enscène. I tried to minimize the camera’s ability to distort, make a point, or discriminate. I wanted each aspect to be presented equally. I did not look for spectacular beauty, but made an effort to let the imagery of the rural world speak through abstraction and silence.

Almost 40 years later, when I watch Alyam, Alyam again, I am still comfortable with my aesthetic choices and my intuitions, but I cannot avoid noticing how, from beginning to end – from the opening shots with the blood shed by the camels, to the crowd of peasants appearing from behind the hills – it all seemed to presage the current tragedy experienced by the thousands whose broken dreams lie at the bottom of the Mediterranean, on which the voice of Nass El Ghiwane’s Larbi Batma seems to strangely resonate: “Alyam, Alyam, oh, those were the days! Why are you crossed? Who changed your course? You were once sweet like milk, now you’re bitter. I love all men as if they were my brothers. My brothers have crushed me. I will silence my pain and let my love be loud.”

- Ahmed El Maanouni


NOTES ON THE RESTORATION:

The restoration of Alyam, Alyam used the 16mm A/B rolls original camera and sound negatives preserved at Eclair Laboratories, where the 4K scan was performed. Restoration - carried out at Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata - succeeded in stabilizing the image and bringing the original chromatic qualities to light. Director Ahmed El Maanouni supervised the color grading process and approved the final restoration.


SENEGAL | 1966

BLACK GIRL

LA NOIRE DE...

by Ousmane Sembène

WRITTEN BY: Ousmane Sembène

EDITING: André Gaudier

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Christian Lacoste

ASSISTANT CAMERAMAN: Ibrahima Barro

STARRING: Mbissine Thérèse Diop, Anne-Marie Jelinek, Robert Fontaine, Momar Nar Sene, Ibrahima Boy

COUNTRY OF PRODUCTION: Senegal

LANGUAGE: French with English Subtitles

COLOR INFO: B&W

RUNNING TIME: 65 minutes

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Les Films Domirev

Restored by Cineteca di Bologna/ L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with the Sembène Estate, Institut National de l’Audiovisuel, INA, Eclair laboratories and the Centre National de Cinématographie. Restoration funded by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project. 

Black Girl, or La Noire de…, was the first of Ousmane Sembène’s pictures to make a real impact in the west, and I can clearly remember the effect it had when it opened in New York in 1969, three years after it came out in Senegal. An astonishing movie—so ferocious, so haunting, and so unlike anything we’d ever seen. 
- Martin Scorsese, May 2015

I am not for “social realism” nor for a “cinema of signs” with slogans and demonstrations. For me revolutionary cinema is something else. If we managed to set up a group of cinéastes who all make cinema directed in the same direction, I believe that then we could influence a little bit of the destinies of our country. I think that the film, more than the book, can crystallize an awakening within the masses. I am personally inspired much by the example of Brecht.
- Ousmane Sembène

In 1961, shortly after Senegal declared its independence from France, Ousmane Sembène, a self-educated dockworker, assigned himself an impossible task: to create a true African cinema as a “night school” for his people. is explosive debut—a film described as the first African feature (true in spirit, if not in fact)—inspired a form of fearless, socially engaged, and uncompromising cinema across the globe. La Noire de … (Black Girl) follows a young girl lured to France by a white bourgeoisie couple, who keep her locked in their flat as a housekeeper. As the daily and unrelenting indignities unfold, Diouana, the title character, literally loses her voice. Sembène highlights her silence, familiar to the voiceless across the globe, yet reveals Diouana’s immense dignity and, by the end, agency. He draws visually from the French Nouvelle Vague (in a film about racial and class divides, the black-and-white photography carries new power) and spiritually from the Italian neorealists, but the film’s heart and soul is African. By turning around the camera—used for 100 years to demean Black people—Sembène offers us the first humanistic gaze at Africans.

But the film (shot mostly in Dakar) also remains a seminal work of cinematic art, as it unfolds with startling precision and decisiveness, providing revealing, unforgettable and richly metaphoric perspective on a never-beforeseen Africa. La Noire de … became a sensation at festivals from Carthage to Pyongyang, and Sembène became the first non-French recipient of the Prix Jean Vigo, given previously to Alain Resnais, Chris Marker, Claude Chabrol and Jean-Luc Godard. In the film’s culminating moment, a boy grabs a mask and haunts the white businessman who entrapped Diouana. As this child pulls the mask from his face, we wonder: Will a new Africa emerge? Nearly 50 years after its initial screenings, the visionary La Noire de … remains a gorgeous, shocking and of-the-moment African story.
- Samba Gadjigo and Jason Silverman


NOTES ON THE RESTORATION:

The restoration of La Noire de… was made possible through the use of the original camera and sound negative provided by INA and the Sembène Estate and preserved at the CNC – Archives Françaises du Film.

In order to try and minimize the presence of visible spots (due to processing errors and aggravated by time) and scratches on the image, the camera negative was wet-scanned at 4K resolution. Due mainly to these two issues, the digital restoration required considerable efforts. A vintage print preserved at the Cinémathèque Française was used as reference.


SENEGAL | 1963

Borom Sarret

by Ousmane Sembène

WRITTEN BY: Ousmane Sembene

EDITING: Andre Gaudier

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Christian Lacoste

ASSISTANT CAMERAMAN: Ibrahima Barro

FROM: INA/Éclair/Cineteca/Sembene Family

STARRING: Ly Abdoulay, Albourah

COUNTRY OF PRODUCTION: Senegal

LANGUAGE: French and Wolof

COLOR INFO: Black and White

RUNNING TIME: 22'

ON COMPANY: INA

Restored in 2013 by Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory and Laboratoires Éclair, in association with The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, the Institut National de l’Audiovisuel, and the Sembène Estate.  Restoration funded by Doha Film Institute.

I think given the fact that there is such a diversity of languages in Africa, we, African filmmakers, will have to find our own way in order to ensure that the message be understood by everyone, or we’ll have to find a language that comes from the image and the gestures. I think I would go as far as to say that we will have to go back and see some of the silent films and in that way find new inspiration.

Contrary to what people think, we talk a lot in Africa but we talk when it’s time to talk. There are also those who say blacks spend all of their time dancing – but we dance for reasons which are our own.

Dancing is not a flaw in itself, but I never see an engineer dancing in front of his machine, and a continent or a people do not spend its time dancing.

All of this means that the African filmmaker’s work is very important – he must find a way that is his own, he must find his own symbols, even create symbols if he has to.

[...] I then realized Borom Sarret, my first true short film. It is the story of a cartman who is, to some extent, the taxi driver of a horse-drawn cart. Confronted by a rich customer in a residential district prohibited to such a type of vehicle, a cop stops him, makes a complaint, and seizes the cart. Relieved of his livelihood, the poor fellow remains sadly in his place. His wife entrusts the guardianship of their children to him while saying to him “We will eat this evening…” For this I got the first work prize at the Festival of Tours in 1963.

     -Ousmane Sembène


NOTES ON THE RESTORATION:

The restoration of Borom Sarret was made possible through the use of the original camera and sound negatives provided by INA and preserved at Éclair Laboratories.

The film was scanned in 4K at Éclair Laboratories and restored at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory. The image was digitally stabilized and cleaned, and all wear marks were eliminated. Image grading helped recover the richness of the original cinematography.

After scanning, the sound was digitally cleaned and background noise reduction was applied to eliminate all wear marks, without losing any of the dynamic features of the original soundtrack.

The World Cinema Foundation would like to specially thank Alain Sembène and the Sembène Family for facilitating the restoration process.

Image: © Courtesy of INA


TAIWAN | 1983

BOYS FROM FENGKUEI, THE

FENG GUI LAI DE REN

by Hou Hsiao-hsien

WRITTEN BY: T'ien-wen Chu

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Kun Hao Chen

SOUND: Duu-Chih Tu

STARRING: Chun-fang Chang, Shih Chang, Doze Niu, Chao P'eng-chue, Chung-Hua Tou, Li-Yin Yang

COUNTRY OF PRODUCTION: Taiwan

LANGUAGE: Mandarin with English subtitles

COLOR INFO: Color

RUNNING TIME: 101 minutes

Restored by the Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique in collaboration with Hou Hsiao-hsien and The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project.


TAIWAN | 1991

BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY, A

GU LING JIE SHAO NIAN SHA REN SHI JIAN

by Edward Yang

WRITTEN BY: Edward Yang, Yan Hangya, Yang Shunqing, Lai Mingtang

EDITING: Chen Bowen

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Zhang Huigong, Li Longyu

FROM: Central Motion Picture Corporation, Taipei

STARRING: Zhang Zhen (Xiao Si’r), Lisa Yang (Ming), Zhang Guozhu (Zhang Ju), Elaine Jin (Mrs Zhang), Wang Juan (Elder Sister), Ke Yulun (Airplane), Tan Zhigang (Ma)

COUNTRY OF PRODUCTION: Taiwan

LANGUAGE: Mandarin and Taiwanese with French and English subtitles

COLOR INFO: Color

RUNNING TIME: 237 minutes

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Yang and His Gang Filmmakers

SET DESIGNER: Yu Weiyan, Edward Yang

Restored in 2009 by Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, the Central Motion Picture Corporation, and the Edward Yang Estate. Scan performed at Digimax laboratories in Taipei. Restoration funded by Armani, Cartier, Qatar Airways and Qatar Museum Authority.
 

It is easy to restore a film’s image, but much harder to revive that feeling of seeing a classic for the first time. Fifteen years ago, Edward Yang’s A Brighter Summer Day was released, heralding a new talent in world cinema. Each year since has further confirmed its status as a classic, but at the cost of increased wear and tear on the prints. Restoration is usually reserved for relics from decades ago. But sometimes we need to dust off recent memories to remind us how brightly the not too distant past shined. Thanks to the latest digital technology, we can seize these celluloid moments even as they begin to slip irrevocably from our grasp. In June of 2007 when he was only 59 years old, we lost Edward Yang forever. I’m very happy that A Brighter Summer Day has been restored so a new generation of filmgoers can feel the excitement of seeing it for the first time. –Wong Kar-Wai, May 2009


NOTES ON THE RESTORATION:

The restoration of the uncut version of A Brighter Summer Day used the original 35mm camera and sound negatives provided by the Edward Yang Estate and preserved at the Central Motion Pictures Corporation in Taipei. Due to the deterioration of the original camera negative an intermediate of the film printed at the time was also used. The digital restoration produced a new 35mm internegative.

Image: © Courtesy of Edward Yang Estate/CMPC


IRAN | 1972

Downpour

RAGBAR

by Bahram Beyzaie

WRITTEN BY: Bahram Beyzaie

EDITING: Mehdi Rajaeeyan

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Barbod Taheri

PRODUCER: Barbod Taheri

MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Shida Garachedaghi

STARRING: Parviz Fannizadeh, Parvaneh Masumi, Manuchehr Farid, Mohammad Ali Keshavarz, Hossein Kasbian, Jamsheed Layegh, Chehrazad

COUNTRY OF PRODUCTION: Iran

LANGUAGE: Persian

COLOR INFO: Black and White

RUNNING TIME: 122 minutes

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Mehregan Film

PRODUCER: Barbod Taheri

Restored in 2011 by Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project and Bahram Beyzaie.  Restoration funded by Doha Film Institute. 

During Downpour, the equations of commercial and intellectual films were the same. The common morality of the action/drama films of the commercial cinema had a tone of political ideology and social activism. The intellectual films were praised for communicating with the mass culture. In that sense, I don’t want to be popular. Many of these (popular) moralities, in my opinion, are wrong and we are all victims of them. So, I have betrayed my people if I endorse them. I have deviated from the morals of the political parties, hence they have labeled me (inaccessible), not the people. At the heart of my harsh expression, there is a love and respect, for the people, that does not exist in superficial appraisals of the masses. … my audiences are those who strive to go one step further, not those who are the guardians of the old equations nor those who dread self examination and self reflexivity.  

–Bahram Beyzaie

I’m very proud that the World Cinema Foundation has restored this wise and beautiful film, the first feature from its director Bahram Bayzaie. The tone puts me in mind of what I love best in the Italian neorealist pictures, and the story has the beauty of an ancient fable – you can feel Bayzaie’s background in Persian literature, theater and poetry. Bayzaie never received the support he deserved from the government of his home country – he now lives in California – and it’s painful to think that this extraordinary film, once so popular in Iran, was on the verge of disappearing forever. The original negative has been either impounded or destroyed by the Iranian government, and all that remained was one 35mm print with English subtitles burned in. Now, audiences all over the world will be able to see this remarkable picture.  

–Martin Scorsese


NOTES ON THE RESTORATION:

The source element was a positive print with English subtitles provided by director Bahram Beyzaie. Since this is the only known surviving copy of the film – all other film sources were seized and are presumed destroyed – the restoration required a considerable amount of both physical and digital repair.

The surviving print was badly damaged with scratches, perforation tears and mid-frame splices. Over 1500 hours of work were necessary to complete the restoration.

Image: © Courtesy of Bahram Beyzaie


TURKEY | 1964

DRY SUMMER

SUSUZ YAZ

by Metin Erksan

WRITTEN BY: Necati Cumali, Metin Erksan Kemal Ínci, Ísmet Soydan

EDITING: Turgut Ínangiray

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Ali Ugur

PRODUCER: Ulvi Dogan

MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Ahmet Yamaç

SOUND: Turgut Ínangiray

STARRING: Ulvi Dogan (Hassan), Erol Tas (Osman), Hülya Koçyigit (Bahar)

COUNTRY OF PRODUCTION: Turkey

LANGUAGE: Turkish with French and English subtitles

COLOR INFO: Black and White

RUNNING TIME: 75 minutes

PRODUCER: Ulvi Dogan

Restored in 2008 by Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, Ulvi Dogan, and Fatih Akim. Additional elements provided by the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Stiftung. Restoration funded by Armani, Cartier, Qatar Airways and Qatar Museum Authority.

Dry Summer is a film of passion. A passion for water as well as the obsessive passion created by forbidden love. […] Dry Summer is a film of captivity… Authorities at the time objected to Dry Summer representing Turkey overseas, which presented all kinds of obstacles when the film came to the Berlin Film Festival. The film walked away with the Golden Bear, but before success could even be celebrated it was ‘taken captive’ and completely forgotten for the next 45 years. Today, in these times of intellectually dry summers, when greed is driving humanity to the brink of starvation, this film could hardly be more valid. Dry Summer is one of the most important legacies of Turkish cinema, and thanks to restoration it can be re-discovered by the next generations of audiences all over the world. –Fatih Akin, May 2008


NOTES ON THE RESTORATION:

The restoration of Susuz Yaz used the original 35mm camera negative and the original 17.5 mm sound negative and recaptured the black and white film’s tonal nuances. The film’s producer, Ulvi Dogan, provided the prints. An interpositive preserved at the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Stiftung in Wiesbaden was used for the negative’s last missing reel. The opening and closing credits, missing from all available sources, have been digitally reconstructed.

Image: © Courtesy of Ulvi Doğan


EGYPT | 1969

ELOQUENT PEASANT, THE

SHAKAVI EL FLASH EL FASI

by Shadi Abdel Salam

WRITTEN BY: Shadi Abdel Salam

EDITING: Kamal Abou El Ella

STARRING: Ahmed Marei (Peasant); Ahmed Enan (The Great Stewart); Ahmed Hegazi (Thutenakht)

COUNTRY OF PRODUCTION: Egypt

LANGUAGE: Arabic

COLOR INFO: Color

RUNNING TIME: 8 minutes

Restored in 2010 by Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, and the Egyptian Film Center. Restoration funded by Armani, Cartier, Qatar Airways and Qatar Museum Authority. 

Based on one of the major literary texts survived from the Middle Kingdom, the classical period of Egyptian literature, The Eloquent Peasant is a combination of a morality/folk tale and a poem. The events are set between 2160 and 2025 BC. When the peasant Khun-anup and his donkey stumble upon the lands of the noble Rensi, the peasant’s goods are confiscated and he’s unjustly accused of theft. The peasant petitions Rensi who is so taken by the peasant’s eloquence that he report his astonishing discovery to the king. The king realises the peasant has been wronged but delays judgement so as to he can hear more of his eloquence. The peasant makes a total of nine petitions until finally, his goods are returned.


NOTES ON THE RESTORATION:

The Eloquent Peasant has been restored using the original 35mm camera and sound negatives preserved at the Egyptian Film Center in Giza. The digital restoration produced a new 35 mm internegative. Special thanks to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

Image: © Courtesy of Egyptian Film Centre


SOUTH KOREA | 1960

HOUSEMAID, THE

HANYO

by Kim Ki-Young

WRITTEN BY: Kim Ki-Young

EDITING: Kim Ki-Young

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Kim Deok-jin

PRODUCER: Kim Young-chul

MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Han Sang-Ki

ART DIRECTOR: Park Seok-in

STARRING: Lee Eunshim (Housemaid), Kim Jin-kyu (Dong-sik), Ju Jeung-nyeo (Dong-sik’s wife), Um Aeng-ran (Cho Kyung-hee)

COUNTRY OF PRODUCTION: South Korea

LANGUAGE: Korean with English subtitles

COLOR INFO: Black and White

RUNNING TIME: 110 minutes

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Korean Munye Films Co., Ltd.

PRODUCER: Kim Young-chul

Restored in 2008 by the Korean Film Archive (KOFA), in association with The Film Foundation's World Cinema Project and HFR-Digital Film laboratory. Additional restoration funded by Armani, Cartier, Qatar Airways and Qatar Museum Authority. 

Kim Ki-young’s Hanyo, or The Housemaid, is one of the true classics of South Korean cinema, and when I finally had the opportunity to see the picture, I was startled. That this intensely, even passionately claustrophobic film is known only to the most devoted film lovers in the west is one of the great accidents of film history. I’m proud that the World Cinema Foundation is participating in the restoration and preservation of this remarkable picture. I am eager for more people to get to know and love The Housemaid.
–Martin Scorsese, February 2008


NOTES ON THE RESTORATION:

Hanyo has been restored digitally by the Korean Film Archive (KOFA) with the support of the World Cinema Foundation. The original negative of the film was found in 1982 with two missing reels, 5 and 8. In 1990 an original release print with hand-written English subtitles was found and used to complete the copy. This surviving print was highly damaged, and the English subtitles occupied almost half of the frame area. The long and complex restoration process has involved the use of a special subtitle-removal software and included flicker and grain reduction, scratch and dust removal, color grading.

Image: © Courtesy of Korean Film Archive


PHILIPPINES | 1976

INSIANG

by Lino Brocka

WRITTEN BY: Mario O’Hara and Lamberto Antonio

EDITING: Augusto Salvado

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Conrado Baltazar

PRODUCER: Miguel de Leon Severino

MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Max Jocson

SOUND: Luis Reyes, Ramon Reyes

STARRING: Hilda Koronel, Mona Lisa, Ruel Vernal, Rez Cortez, Marlon Ramirez

COUNTRY OF PRODUCTION: Philippines

LANGUAGE: Tagalog with French and English subtitles

COLOR INFO: Color

RUNNING TIME: 124 minutes

PRODUCER: Miguel de Leon Severino

Restored by Cineteca di Bologna/ L’Immagine Ritrovata. Restoration funded by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project and the Film Development Council of the Philippines.

I’m so pleased that Insiang, the second of the great Lino Brocka’s films that we’ve managed to restore, has been selected for this year’s Cannes Classics: back in 1976, this extraordinary family melodrama was the first picture from the Philippines ever selected for Cannes. Brocka was like a force of nature in world cinema, and Insiang was among his greatest achievements.  - Martin Scorsese, May 2015

Insiang is, first and foremost a character analysis: a young woman raised in a miserable neighborhood. I need this character to recreate the ‘violence’ stemming from urban overpopulation, to show the annihilation of a human being, the loss of human dignity caused by the physical and social environment and to stress the need for changes to these life conditions […] My characters always react through fighting. I have conceived Insiang like an immoral story: two women share the same man, the daughter avenges herself and, in the end, she reveals herself: she had conspired to kill her mother’s lover without having ever loved him, so that the murder was, in fact, unnecessary. Censorship refused this ending.”   - Lino Brocka

In 1977 I was in Sydney for the film festival. Before going home, I zigzagged my way back through Jakarta, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong-Kong, Manila and Seoul, to discover a new filmmaker and an unknown film: Insiang by Lino Brocka. When Insiang was released on December 17, 1976, it did not do well, and led to the collapse of CineManila, the company founded by Brocka in 1974 after the extraordinary success of Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang. The shooting of Insiang began on December 1 and lasted 11 days. Knowing these dates is important as they reveal the extreme urgency he felt, and his unique, authentic desire to make this film. Insiang also presents an unusual, brilliant mise-en-scène which shows the characters being torn apart by passion, by a sort of ardent energy. I am very pleased that, two years after Manila in the Claws of Light, Cannes Classics is showcasing another restoration of a Brocka film. I still remember the excitement, along rue Antibes, surrounding the screening of Insiang at the Quinzaine de Réalisateurs, in 1978. That was a very fulfilling and emotional experience, and I’m sure the same will be true today.  -  Pierre Rissient


NOTES ON THE RESTORATION:

The restoration of Insiang was made possible through the use of the original camera and sound negatives deposited at LTC laboratories by producer Ruby Tiong Tan. 

The negative was wet-scanned at 4K resolution and digital restoration was very time-consuming. Some portions of the film, where the negative was intercut to the internegative were extremely damaged and two shots were replaced by use of a 35mm positive print preserved at the BFI National Archive.

Despite an overall acceptable state of preservation, the original optical sound negative presented critical recording issues. The sound restoration required considerable effort to try and solve or minimize the severe metallic hiss and distortions. Several acquisition methods were tested, leaving, however, very little room for improvement.


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