Acclaimed Egyptian filmmaker Mohamed Khan dies aged 73

Acclaimed Egyptian filmmaker Mohamed Khan dies aged 73
2 min read
26 July, 2016
Renowned Egyptian film director Mohamed Khan died in Cairo on Tuesday following a long career fighting social ills in films that were critically and publicly adored.
Khan has been one of Egypt's leading cinematic figures since the 1980s [Getty]

Mohamed Khan, the celebrated Egyptian film director, died in Cairo on Tuesday, aged 73, after a prolific career making socially engaging films.

Khan was one of Egypt's leading cinematic figures since the 1980s, making a string of movies tackling social issues that often revolved around female central characters.

Khan died in hospital in Egypt's capital early on Tuesday following health problems, state-owned al-Ahram newspaper reported without further detail. His family was not immediately available for comment.

A British national born to an Egyptian-Italian mother and a Pakistani father in Cairo in 1942, Khan studied in Britain and worked as an assistant director in Lebanon before settling in Egypt.

He directed 24 feature films starring the country's leading actors and actresses, denouncing the oppression of Egyptian women and fighting social ills in films that were acclaimed by critics and the public alike.

In his 1987 film, The Wife of an Important Man, Khan told the story of a police officer intoxicated by power and involved in the repression of regime opponents.

In 2013, the film made it onto the Dubai International Film Festival's list of the top 100 Arab films of all time.

The same year, Khan's Factory Girl won two prizes at the same festival, including a prestigious critics' award.

The film tells the story of Hiyam, a young factory worker living in a lower-middle-class neighbourhood of Cairo, who falls in love with her supervisor.

Khan is survived by his wife, Wessam Souleiman, who wrote the screenplay for several of his films - including Factory Girl.

His daughter, Nadine Khan, is also a film director. Her feature debut Chaos, Disorder won the Special Jury Prize at the Dubai International Film Festival in 2012.

Despite being widely celebrated as a great figure in Egyptian and Arab cinema, Egypt only granted Khan citizenship in 2014.

Egyptian women married to foreigners were not allowed to pass on their citizenship to their children before a 2004 amendment to the nationality law.