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On the International Day to Combat… How did art fight cancer and show the suffering of its victims?

On February 4th of every year, the whole world celebrates World Cancer Day. It is the day that unites the world’s population to fight this insidious disease. This day is also an excellent opportunity to provide support to those affected. As well as mobilizing the support of governments, competent organizations and community members to raise awareness of cancer, and to correct misconceptions, and common myths about it.

Television and film works have always dealt with all issues of society and its reality, including the affliction of many people with cancer, so it has dealt with this disease in more than one way. Despite the scarcity of works that deal with this insidious disease and the suffering of its sufferers in Egyptian cinema and drama, unlike their American counterparts, we had to review these works with you on the World Cancer Day, in appreciation of the efforts of their makers in raising awareness about how to deal with the disease And offer a dose of hope to cancer patients. The following are the most prominent artworks whose heroes embodied the suffering of a cancer patient.

“You are my life” Film

The film presented an important message to all cancer patients, through the character of the hero who was able to transform the ordeal of his illness into a new hope in life, by getting out of the bad psychological state he is going through, to another condition that helps him in treatment of the disease .

The film revolves around a young engineer named “Youssef”, who lives a happy and stable life with his wife and 6-year-old son. One day he discovers that he has leukemia, so he refuses to open up to his family so as not to torment them with his illness and death, so he deludes them that he is traveling abroad and has completely disappeared, and goes to live alone in preparation for death after feeling reluctance to seek treatment. Until he meets Shams, a ballerina who suffers from the same disease, whose lover abandoned her as soon as he learned of her illness. Youssef and Shams fall in love and continue their healing journey together. Their health condition improves after the pain united their hearts, and love encouraged them to increase their desire to be healed.

Hind discovers the truth about her husband’s absence and the reality of his illness, so she goes to the hospital where he receives treatment, and there she discovers his relationship with “Shams”, who promised her to stay away from “Youssef”, which led to the poor health of both of them. The doctor had to tell Hind that Shams should be present in Yusuf’s life and preserve their love, because it was the only way for them to respond to treatment. Hind sacrifices for their survival. However, “Shams” refuses to continue her relationship with “Youssef” and assured him that they will not abandon their love, but that it will remain in their hearts only.

The film starring Hani Salama, Nelly Karim, Menna Shalaby and Hisham Selim, written by Mohamed Refaat, directed by Khaled Youssef, and produced in 2005.

1000 Mabrouk Film

The film highlighted glimpses of the life of a cancer patient, and the severe pain he is exposed to, which drives him to obtain palliative drugs to overcome the pain stage. It reviews the risks and inconveniences the patient goes through in order to obtain the drug, which is usually listed among the prohibited drugs. The film also highlighted an important issue, which is providing support to the patient .

The events of the film revolve around “Ahmed Galal”, a selfish, arrogant young man who is preparing for his wedding the next day. Ahmed wakes up in the morning, and during his day goes through a series of events that end with his death after being hit by a large truck. To wake up and discover that all the previous events were a nightmare. However, he is surprised by the repetition of the events of his day exactly as he saw them in the dream, and it also ends with his death. To wake up again to the same nightmare, repeat the day, and come to the same end. And the matter continues in this way, so that “Ahmed” discovers every day new information about his family members and friends, which helps him to get closer to them and understand their behavior and point of view. Among what he saw in his recurring nightmare was that his mother went to a dealer to buy prohibited drugs, and she and the dealer were arrested, so Ahmed thought that his mother was a drug addict. But then he discovers that she has cancer, and she takes anesthetic injections as a strong painkiller. She refuses treatment for fear of chemotherapy, which will cause her hair to fall out. Ahmed sympathizes with his mother and shaves his hair before going to his wedding, to convince her to receive treatment.

The film starring Ahmed Helmy, Sarah Abdel Rahman, Mahmoud El-Fishawy, Laila Ezz El-Arab and Mohamed Farraj, written by Mohamed Diab, and directed by Ahmed Nader Galal. It was produced in 2009.

Regatta movie

Within its events, the film touched on the suffering of a woman with cancer, who appeared during the events without hair, as she was undergoing chemotherapy sessions.

The film tells the story of the young Reda Al-Toukhi, known as “Regatta”, who engages in illegal activities in order to collect money and travel with his mother, Sabah, who is diagnosed with cancer, to Italy. Regatta accidentally kills his brother and runs away. Sabah claims that she is the reason for her son’s death, only to be arrested. Unconvinced that Sabah is the real culprit, the officer starts chasing Regatta, who attacked the lorry and smuggled his mother. Regatta is arrested after being implicated in several murders. When the police go to arrest Sabah, they find her dead.

The film stars Amr Saad, Elham Shaheen, Mahmoud Hamida, Fathi Abdel Wahab, Rania Youssef, Ahmed Malik and Walid Fawaz, written by Mohamed Sami and Moataz Fatiha, and directed by Mohamed Sami. It was produced in 2015.

The sweetness of the living series

The series highlights cancer patients’ fight against this malignant tumor, and how to overcome that painful experience, which changes the patients’ view of everything that goes on around them.

The events revolve around the character of “Amina” who discovers that she has leukemia shortly before her wedding. Which makes her reconsider her relationship with those around her, and changes everything she arranged for him. Especially after her fiancé left her, and she faced some problems with her sister. The events continue until “Amina” meets the businessman “Salim” who has a cancerous tumor in the brain, and they develop a love relationship that ends in marriage, and together they face the disease and conquer it. During the events, the strength of “Amina”‘s character appears, as she did not wait for her hair to fall out while she was undergoing chemotherapy, but in one of the scenes, she shaved her hair herself.

The series stars Hend Sabry, Dhafer El Abidine, Hanan Mutawa, Anushka, Hani Adel, Rajaa Al-Jeddawi, Ahmed Hatem, Salma Abu Deif and Yasmine Ghaith, written by Tamer Habib and Engy Qassem, and directed by Hussein Al-Manbawi. It was produced in 2017.

Journey series

The series monitors the state of shock that a cancer patient feels when he discovers that he has the disease. And how could that turn his life upside down.

The main theme of the series revolves around the idea of fate, and the conditions and crises that humans are exposed to. Where 6 personalities meet on a flight on a plane from Lebanon to Cairo. During the events, we follow the story of Karima, who makes a decision to undergo a plastic surgery, but discovers that she has cancer during medical examinations before the operation, and finds that she is in the late stages of the disease, and her life is turned upside down. Karima begins the treatment phase and struggles with the disease, and the episodes highlight the developments of the disease and the severe pain that the heroine suffers from during the stages of the disease, which is represented by dizziness and fatigue, as well as hair loss.

The series starring Hanan Mutawa, Basil Al-Khayat, Mai Selim, Reham Abdel Ghafour, Walid Fawaz, Ihab Fahmy, Mohamed Mahran and Amira Al-Aydi, the story of Nour Shishakli, the script and dialogue by Amr Al-Dali and Ahmed Wael, and directed by Hossam Ali. It was produced in 2018.

light black series

The series presented a message of support for cancer patients with the aim of relieving them, stressing the importance of the patient receiving moral support from the people around him, which greatly contributes to recovery from the disease.

The series tells the story of a wealthy businesswoman who is betrayed and betrayed by some of the people close to her. She suddenly loses her luxurious life, after being arrested, and unjustly accused of causing poisoning of school children, and she is imprisoned. After proving her innocence and leaving, she tries to regain her former life, and decides to take revenge on those who destroyed her life. During the events, we meet the young girl “Aya Salah al-Din” who suffers from brain cancer, and who suffers from her husband’s preoccupation with his work and his neglect of her. She battles cancer alone, until she ends up losing her battle against the disease and her death.

The series stars Haifa Wehbe, Ahmed Fahmy, Rogina, Sherif Salama, Omar Al-Saeed, Rania Mansour, Firas Saeed and Sabri Fawaz, written by Amin Gamal, and directed by Karim El-Adl. It was produced in 2020.

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