The Unbearable Presence of Asmahan (Documentary)

71 min
Director: Azza El-Hassan
Producer: Mischief films, ORF, Al Jazeera, SRF

As times harden in the Arab world, people have begun to recall the greatest diva of all time: Asmahan, the Syrian princess who emigrated to Egypt in the twenties and became an entertainer. Today, traces of the Cairo that Asmahan once loved are difficult to find in the blanket of apathy that weighs on the city.
It was in Cairo that Asmahan sang her famous song “Euphoric Nights in Vienna”(1944), in which she manufactured an Arab fantasy for the European city. Today, many Arabs go to Vienna in search of the dream whispered to them by the greatest diva.

But things are not quite that simple. Asmahan is not the angel everyone imagines her to be. Behind her angelic face are dark secrets, and it is time we stopped being manipulated by Asmahan’s unbearable presence.