Traveling 52 Years Back in Time

Too many young Egyptians have barely heard of the 1967 – 1970 war of attrition between Egypt and Israel, accounts of which are buried in dry history books which very few read. These days, however, the Egyptian public, young and old, is finally getting a closer look at the heroism of Egyptian fighters involved in that war, thanks to the movie, El-Mamar, recently released to public acclaim.

The movie showcases the challenges faced by the Egyptian army during that period, both on and off the battlefield.  After the 1967 war, the Egyptian people felt bitter and inevitably harbored suppressed feelings of resentment towards the army. The war of attrition helped alleviate these sentiments since it showed that the army was determined to reverse the terrible loss of 1967, not only through rebuilding and modernizing the army but also through initiating battles against the enemy.

The movie highlights the strength, perseverance, bravery and courage of the Egyptian soldiers on the battlefield. But what stands out the most and truly differentiates El Mamar from other Egyptian war films, is its realistic portrayal of the soldiers’ vulnerabilities and fears that factored into their heroism and sacrifice.

While, generally speaking, all we know of wars is who wins or loses, this movie takes the viewer into the unknown struggles of a small group of soldiers, known as “Fighting Group 39,” which was led by General Ibrahim El-Refaai.

Alongside the lead star Ahmed Ezz, the movie features some of Egypt’s most prominent actors and actresses such as Eyad Nassar, Ahmed Rezk, Ahmed Flawkas and Hend Sabry.  El-Mamar also featured some of the most promising up and coming actors and actresses such as Mohamed Farrag, Mohamed Sharnoubi, Ahmed Salah Hosny and Asmaa Abu Yazeed.he high calibre of the movie’s cast is matched by its high-powered director, Sherif Arafa and its brilliant writer, Amir Teama, a dynamic duo that together succeeds in bringing this authentic and gripping story to life. The movie’s musical score, composed by none other than Omar Khairat, elevates the viewing experience and deeply touches the hearts of the audience members.

El-Mamar is truly a jaw-dropping, teeth-clenching and heart-wrenching movie that keeps the audience at the edge of their seats. Yet, amidst all the heartbreak and the agony, it does not overlook the power of the love between the characters played by Farrag and Abu Yazeed even in the face of horror. Their tangible chemistry genuinely radiates through the screen throughout. In the end, all is fair in love and war, quite literally.