Peter von Bagh

[The Land of the Pharaohs] M.: Pentti Kauranen, Heikki Salo. Prod.: Terttu Talonen per Yleisradio, TV1, Teatteritoimitus . DCP. D.: 29’. Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Mika Waltari had been working on The Egyptian (1945), his classic of popular historical fiction, for quite some time: researching the period, taking notes, constructing the narrative etc. Still, it’s difficult to ignore when he sat down to finally write this rather hefty tome: the immediate postwar months; and he did so quickly, hammering ten thousands and ten thousands of words into his typewriter inside a few weeks. For von Bagh, the ancient Egypt of Waltari is really the Finland of ’44, his descriptions of suffering a not-exactly-thinly-veiled portrait of the nations down on its knees, tired and bloody. And so, Faaraoiden maa took shape: excerpts from The Egyptian would comment on choice newsreel shots. Another of those intriguingly simple von Bagh-concepts that made for a fine piece of cinema – a lean work, straight-forward in its execution, muscular in its movement, deep in its thoughts.

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