Asmahan – Une diva orientale

Asmahan – Une diva orientale

a documentary film by Silvano Castano
France/Switzerland/Lebanon 2013, 60′, o.v. Arabic/French, sbt. Italian

Festivals & Prizes

FIPA 2013 – Music and Entertainment Competition


Asmahan, the stage name of Amal Al-Atrash (1917-1944), a Syrian princess with Druse origins, a singer with a golden voice, who in her short life tried to reconcile the irreconcilable: freedom and tradition, Islam and Hollywood, Viennese light opera and traditional Arab music. A protagonist in the greatest Egyptian musical comedies of the 1930’s, Asmahan was a woman of strong contrasts: ‘femme fatale’ and an Arab singer similar to Oum Kalthoum (her greatest rival), the vanity of a star yet with religious faith and instinctive solidarity with her community, the Druse; indifference to the grand political causes, yet at the same time committed on the side of the colonial powers. The Europeans found in her the exotic beauty, the allure of the Orient; the Muslims saw her as a woman with too much liberty, who exhibited an excessive westernization.


Silvano Castano
Julie Martinovic, Aurore Mréjen, Bénédicte Leclerc
Ya touyour, Kelma Ya Nour Elouyoun, Youcef Badrous – Mohamed Kassabji, Dakhalt Marra, Ya habibi taâla, Midaht Assem, Aleïk salat Allah, Badi Khairi – Farid El-Atrache, Alachan Malich Gheirak, Farid El-Atrache, Enta Omri, Oum Kalthoum, Mohamed Abdel Wahab – Ahmed Chafiq Kamel
Atopic, Les Films du Tamarin, Cined Production, Amka Films Productions

RSI - Swiss Television, France Télévision Corse ViaStella