Looking for Oum Kulthum (2017) Movie Script

In the month of spring,
the flowers blossomed.
In the month of spring,
the flowers bloomed.
The flowers and their blossoms.
The flowers
The flowers
and their blossoms.
With his spirit
and his presence.
The strings
of my instrument chanted
And the riding and the walking
also sang his hymns.
The birth of our
guiding light was manifested.
The birth of our
guiding light was manifested.
- Like the sun's light in the valley.
- Mama.
His birth was manifested.
Do you know why
I asked you to come here, Latif?
I want you to write 10 songs for me.
Me? Write for your majesty?
This is way beyond my reach!
Oh boy, I must be dreaming!
In fact my lady...
I don't know how to tailor songs!
Maybe you could just choose from the songs
that I've written for Cheikh Imam.
Cheikh Imam? The blind one?
Yes, that's him.
He'll be happy to know that you know him.
It seems like you don't know
who you're talking to!
I can just make a call
and you'll be sleeping in a toilet tonight!
But I am already sleeping in a toilet every night!
Okay, thank you, Hiba!
Your name?
Ghada Shrief.
You speak English?
A little bit.
Let's start with you singing
one of your favourite Oum Kulthum songs,
and then
we'll have you read some lines.
By your will,
O my creator.
Not by my desire
or my will,
you have given me my voice
and your hand,
has fashioned
my body
and my limbs
You created my voice
and your hand
has fashioned
my body
and my limbs
I will attain with my voice,
O Lord
my destiny
and my dreams.
When I secretly call you,
when I secretly call you,
and when you
hear my prayers
and my grievances.
- I'm sorry, we're disturbing you at work.
- No, it's okay.
- I'm just surprised to see you here.
- We're surprised too
that you left the audition.
Everyone liked you so much.
You are so kind but...
you know, it's my friends.
They thought I should go to the audition
because they think I have a good voice.
But all the things,
- It's not for me, really, I'm not this...
- You'll be perfect, I know that.
Trust me.
Give it a second chance,
come back.
And if you still feel the same,
no pressure.
Have you ever traveled outside of Egypt?
Well, we will be shooting
in Morocco and in Europe.
Political equality for all women!
This is the Egyptian woman!
She asks for her political rights!
She has to work
to improve her economic situation!
Freedom! Freedom!
we need to be independent
in our choices
and in political issues.
Equality! Equality!
Our main goal is
to give the Egyptian woman
her political rights.
Education is a woman's right!
- Cut!
- Cut!
I knew it, you're wonderful.
Now you see
how great it could be?
I don't know.
You seem happy.
Oum Kulthum!
Oum Kulthum!
Don't be ashamed,
don't you want to sing for us?
I've come all the way from Tamay
El Zahayra to hear your voice.
Go ahead and sing!
We all have gathered here.
Go ahead. Sing for us!
I will wait for you
and stay...
I will wait for you
and stay...
my fire within my ribs.
I have placed my hand on
my cheek and counted
your absence by the second
but you never came.
O how I wish...
I wish,
how I wish...
I wish,
how I wish...
I wish,
how I wish..
I wish,
I wish that
I have never ever loved!
I toss and turn on coals of fire,
on coals of fire,
and lose myself
in my thoughts.
The breeze
I hear as your footsteps
and each whisper
I hear as your voice.
The breeze
I hear as your footsteps,
and each whisper
I hear as your voice.
In this condition,
I wake and I sleep.
and when they saw me,
they said I had lost my mind.
In this condition,
I wake and I sleep,
and when they saw me,
they said I had lost my mind
O how I wish...
I wish,
how I wish...
I wish,
how I wish...
I wish,
How I wish...
I wish,
I wish, I wish,
I wish, I wish,
I wish...
I wish,
I wish that
I have never ever loved!
Let's go quickly for another one,
But, Mitra, I can't.
I'm losing my voice.
I know, Ghada.
This would be the last one, I promise.
She doesn't understand anything
about Oum Kulthum.
Doesn't she realize
I have been singing for 6 hours
and I'm beginning
to lose my voice?
I feel that she knows
what she's doing.
Ahmed, back to one!
We learn from repetition.
Repetition even teaches the donkeys...
...ummit teaches the clever.
Everyone is waiting for you.
Where were you?
What's going on?
It's this stupid man.
It's been like this since day one.
He's a male chauvinist,
sexist bastard!
His only problem is that I'm a woman.
But he is your actor
You know better, you can't get into
conflict like this with your actor.
Especially in front of all these people.
We're going to lose the
moral of the production!
I want him out of my production!
We'll find another actor.
He's not even an Egyptian!
I don't know what's wrong with me.
I feel like everything is falling apart.
I'm totally lost.
What are you talking about?
I don't understand.
What's the issue?
If it's about work, all's going well.
What's your problem?
Tell me...
I saw you getting a message on the set,
you suddenly turned upside down.
Who was it from?
It was from my son, Nima.
I feel so anxious, Amir.
I am really worried about him.
He sends me texts how he hates me.
I don't know what's wrong with him.
Mitra, Nima is not
a little boy anymore.
He is fourteen years old.
And your worries are normal,
you haven't seen him for seven years.
All yours anxieties are
because you're so far from him.
Come on.
Let's go.
- Hello. Welcome.
- Hi.
Hi there!
Please follow me.
Do you have an invitation to attend?
Come with me, you need
an invitation.
Oum Kulthum is for the people,
isn't she?
- You'll come with me.
- I'm coming.
Sure, no, you go on first.
Let me go.
Come on. You need an invitation.
Are you Oum Kulthum?
Does Oum Kulthum belong
to the King only?
Where was your King
when she was still singing in Azbakia?
I was there and saw her myself!
Before she became
Oum Kulthum.
She doesn't sing for kings,
but for those like me.
What do you think you're doing,
You thought I won't notice?
Who told you
you could make up your lines as you wish?
You don't even speak Arabic.
Because what you wrote, lady,
is a bunch of lies and trash.
That's not who Oum Kulthum was.
You cannot come here and make your own
version of our national hero.
That's what happens when you give
a serious film to a female director.
That shoot is not for me.
No sir, thank you very much.
Thank you.
O night of festivities,
you have brought us joy.
O night of festivities,
you have brought us joy.
O night of festivities,
you have brought us joy.
And you have renewed our hopes,
O night of festivities.
My lover's boat
is running forth
and my soul
is dancing with the wind.
My lover's boat
is running forth
and my soul
is dancing with the wind.
My lover's boat
is running forth
and my soul
is dancing with the wind.
Tell my beautiful lover,
it is much too early.
One should never sleep
in the festive night of Eid.
Hello, welcome. We're so honored.
The evening was wonderful!
His majesty is waiting for you.
- Your singing was so wonderful.
- Thank you.
It's a cut.
Let's take a few minutes break.
- Can I have a word with you, Ghada?
- Sure.
- We talked about this scene, no?
- We did.
Don't be so insecure.
Oum Kulthum is a star now.
She has made it to the very top.
She's worshipped by everyone.
She has to embrace the life
of Egypt's high society.
She has to behave like them,
walk like them, talk like them.
Do you understand?
That moment, when she
turns her eyes from her father,
her brother...
after that
there is no going back.
From this point on
she doesn't belong to her family,
her home...
not even herself.
But that's not true.
This is not how I know Oum Kulthum.
She was always loyal to her family,
to where she came from.
She never turned her back to her family,
to her village or country.
No, Ghada.
That's her past.
Now she can't allow anything
to distract her.
Not her home, not her family.
That's what it takes to be great.
Has this man gone crazy or what?
I will teach him a lesson!
I want to see him.
"The Lady sings to entertain the sad King."
Can you explain this?
Listen to me, my lady!
You do know that we
come from the same village.
I've been listening to you
since you were a little girl,
when you were singing Tawashih.
I followed you to Cairo,
because I fell in love with your voice.
All Egypt loves you
and not only Egypt!
The entire Arab world
finds solace in your voice.
You surely know that the streets
become empty one days.
People gather around the radio,
just to hear your voice
at 5 o'clock
every Thursday.
Yes, Lady of all...
Me, the people of Egypt
and outside of Egypt...
We love you.
But you have forgotten us.
You have forgotten your roots.
You have forgotten
who you're singing for!
And why!
I mean no disrespect,
but I came to remind you...
that you belong to everyone.
To the people only!
Who are you to speak for the people?
Do you know that
I can make a single phone call
and you'll be sleeping in the toilet tonight?
I already sleep in the toilet every night!
Let this man finish his tea and leave.
Let me introduce my fabulous team.
the star of my film.
- Here is Amir, my long time coll...
- It's a pleasure to meet you.
Please do come in.
Has she become a star or what?
I'd like to introduce you
to my friends.
She's a rising star on Broadway,
and he's a wonderful art collector.
So... I'm so curious, as an Iranian,
what made you want to make
a film about Oum Kulthum?
What I want to ask is
whether you understand Oum Kulthum?
- Do you speak Arabic?
- No.
You know that in case of Oum Kulthum
it is her words that
pierce through your heart.
Someone should explain to you how
Oum Kulthum's voice played with words.
And how, by playing with words,
she elevated us.
She turned poetry into ecstasy.
- Do you have translations for her poems?
- Yes.
I have to take this.
Are you better, Mitra?
Don't you remember?
You passed out in the middle of the party.
Nima is missing.
They can't find him.
What does it mean he's missing?
Was it your husband calling?
He says, it's all my fault.
I have to go back to Iran...
to look for Nima.
Mitra, dear...
How can you go anywhere in this condition?
Let's talk when you feel better.
I feel just fine.
I have to leave.
Have you lost your mind?
You think it's that simple?
You know that you can't go back to Iran.
What would happen to our production?
What happens to this film?
Oh, Egypt!
The fire may burn you
and cauterize your wounds!
But you rise up like a bride
on her wedding day!
Ahmed, sorry.
We need more passion.
Revolution means passion, okay?
- Come on!
- Okay...
Didn't anyone hear about the blood
that was spelt in this land?
Blood like...
Good, good.
Go, go, go!
- Too much?
- No, no. Keep it.
Blood like gasoline
that feeds the fire!
Blood like water
that seeps into the earth!
That's it.
Looks good.
Clear set.
Didn't anyone hear about the blood
that was spelt on our land?
Blood like fire...
Blood like water...
that feeds the earth
and it grows a seed,
that develops, breeds,
and flourishes,
and bears fruits.
That is blood
that quenches...
the thirst of freedom.
Missing you makes my heart
People, freedom is
difficult to find.
I gave you freedom,
but you couldn't manage
to give it back.
So I spoke out loud...
The fire may burn you.
Hi, I was looking for you on the set
and they told me you are here.
Are you okay?
Please, come in.
Have a seat.
I'll be right back.
My son is missing,
I deserve this punishment.
I've done nothing...
but cause him pain.
I turned my back on
everyone who needed me...
who trusted me,
loved me.
- And for what?
- To be great?
I'm a simple woman.
I don't know much about art
or anything deep really.
When you came to school that day
I saw the excitement in your eyes.
I had no idea what movie business was
and I still don't know, but you...
What you saw, Ghada,
was a heartless woman
after fame and career.
Like Oum Kulthum?
- Alright Cut!
- Cut it!
A little more to the right.
That's fine.
Don't forget,
you're really nervous.
The military picked you up.
You don't know if you go to prison or...
- Okay?
- Okay.
Let's shoot it!
We're ready.
I speak to you today
so that we can move forward
with seriousness
greatness and solid will,
purpose and dedication.
We want
to work on building up
this nation
with freedom,
and glory.
My Egyptian brothers and sisters,
we will move forward with certainty!
No one will stop us!
I stand in front of you today,
unable to express my happiness
and gratitude to God.
your fathers,
and ancestors,
your families
also have gone through a lot.
You, who have sacrificed,
the closest people
to your hearts,
for our dear and precious nation.
I celebrate with you today
the day of independence,
the day of freedom,
the day of glory
and of dignity.
And now it is my great pleasure,
to announce that
this microphone
does not belong to me.
It belongs to the fourth Pyramid
of our beloved nation,
the lady, Oum Kulthum!
Your eyes have brought me back,
to days long past.
They have taught me to regret,
the past and its wounds.
What I have seen,
before my eyes saw you,
is a life gone to waste.
How can they count it as a life?
- Quite wonderful!
- Indeed, really.
- So happy to see you, Mitra.
- Thank you.
- How are you doing?
- Very good, thank you.
- Welcome back.
- Thank you.
- What do you think about it?
- Good, good.
I'm really happy to be back
among you again.
Now... I know
this will be disappointing to you all
but what I saw today...
is of no use to me anymore.
I've been thinking hard and deep
and I've come to the realisation
that this script,
this story we set out to tell...
is no longer close to my heart.
Well, what...
- What do you mean by that?
- Hear me out, please.
I just wrote a new ending sequence
and we need to re-shoot a few scenes.
- That's it.
- Jesus!
Please, before reacting,
take your time to read the new ending.
You will know what I mean.
We're still scheduled for tomorrow.
See you there.
- Can I have a word with you?
- Yes.
- Privately, please.
- Oh, sure.
You know I have so much respect
for you and your vision...
and I understand you have been dealing
with a lot of personal issues lately,
but your new direction of the film,
is really informed by,
how can I say,
some kind of...
This will make no sense.
Do you understand me?
I want you to understand
that since I started this project
I am a changed person...
because of my journey
with Oum Kulthum.
I don't think I have ever understood her
like I do now.
The real human being beyond the myth.
Do you understand me?
That's what I want to show,
nothing else.
A real person...
with all her flaws and vulnerabilities.
Not just this heroine, this icon...
everyone admires...
and loves,
- but no-one really knows.
- Mitra, frankly,
this new direction
makes it impossible for us
to support the film.
Please reconsider.
May I make a proposal?
Maybe you should just take
some more time off to recover.
Amir did a great job in your absence.
He could carry on with the production,
and whenever you feel up to it,
you can come back.
And everything will be waiting for you,
I promise.
I am fully recovered,
Your eyes have brought me back,
to days long past.
They have taught me to regret,
the past and its wounds.
What I have seen,
before my eyes saw you,
is a life gone to waste.
How can they count it as a life?
What I have seen,
what I have seen,
before my eyes saw you,
is a life that is lost.
How can they count it as a life?
What I have seen,
before my eyes saw you,
is a life gone to waste.
How can they count it as a life?
What I have seen,
before my eyes saw you,
is a life gone to waste.
How can they count it as a life?
You are my love and my life!
Thank you.
Ghada, it was wonderful.
You did great!
This is a disaster.
She's lost it.
I've no clue what she's doing.
This scene just never happened.
We'll get killed for this.
Ghada on set, please!
Okay, we need Ghada on set, please!
Thank you.
Time to move this.
- Okay.
- Okay?
We are ready for the first take and...
- Roll sound, please.
- Sound speak.
21 roll one, take one.
What's going on here?
- Can someone find out what's happening?
- Okay.
check the generator please.
Mitra, please stop! Stop!
I beg youdon't do this.
Have you gone mad?
How can you go to war
with your producers?
You're destroying everything.
All your success
Don't forget the film world is small.
None of these matter to me anymore.
If they matter to you,
why don't you continue with the film?
I like your fire.
My fire?
Your fire, the fire that burns
inside of you.
Love, hate, and passion.
They all come from the same fire.
And I like yours.
But why did you dismantle me
in the most important concert in my life?
I guess I got tired of you...
and your greatness.
Always being on the top.
You let down all those people.
You mean your audience?
People gave their money
to hear my voice.
But you can't please everyone.
So arrogant...