I keep meaning to watch some HK movies and put up another review or two along with some pictures of an actor but life keeps getting in the way. Or maybe I just keep finding frivilous things to do so that I don't have to watch any movies. Like my self-imposed project to divide the music on my MP3 player into the years 1963 - 1975. It took days but it is finally done. The biggest year in terms of the number of songs you ask? Well, yes I know you could actually care less but still it was 1967 with 495 songs - an astonishing year of creativity that hasn't come close to being equalled. It was actually the year I discovered rock music. Living in Afghanistan you didn't exactly get the latest hits from back home (The Kingston Trio was big in our house), but that summer my older brother visited us from university and brought along Sgt Peppers, Surrealistic Pillow, The Doors and The Kinks's Something Else and I was sold on the devil's music.
It is a simple romance from which basic moral questions arise - what is more important, your loyalty to your family or holding to your principles. Yehia is brought up by a step-father who married his mother after she divorced her husband for his drinking problems. Though there is no great love between Yehia and his step-father, he is given a good upper middle class upbringing with an education in university. One day while rowing, he spots Samia (the stunning Iman, a Lebanese actress) on her balcony and immediately knows she is the girl for him and so begins to woo her the old fashioned way - through song from below. All appears headed for a happy ending until Yehia's no good older step-brother who likes his booze and his belly dancers in that order kills someone in a hit and run car accident. The police think the offender is Yehia's friend and so Yehia who was in the car is then faced with a delimma - turn in his brother and destroy his family or watch his friend be ruined. Not that I need to get into yet another film industry (and there doesn't seem to be all that much available anyway with subs), but this was a really enjoyable glimpse into another time and another place that feels very much to have vanished.