The Three Disappearances of Soad Hosni

Beautifully conceived and expertly edited, video artist Rania Stephan's "The Three Disappearances of Soad Hosni" is a multifaceted work that uses VHS clips from Egyptian star Soad Hosni's films to explore the iconic thesp's screen image.

Beautifully conceived and expertly edited, video artist Rania Stephan’s “The Three Disappearances of Soad Hosni” is a multifaceted work that uses VHS clips from Egyptian star Soad Hosni’s films to explore the iconic thesp’s screen image. Commissioned by the Sharjah Biennial, the docu works as both art installation and cinema piece, revealing the diverse modes of female representation embodied in Hosni’s charismatic roles. Given the star’s large fanbase and the controversy surrounding her unnatural death in 2001, it’s inevitable that auds familiar with her work will be the most responsive.

Divided into three “acts” with a prologue and epilogue, the docu uses a wealth of clips from many of Hosni’s 82 features, made between the early 1960s and 1991. Though this is a reduction of Hosni’s achievement, act one reveals Hosni in the bloom of youth, act two focuses on her as sexualized woman and act three shows her characters undergoing emotional extremes. Debate still rages around her death in London: Though it was officially ruled a suicide, recent revelations support the claim she was murdered by Egypt’s intelligence services, making Stephan’s work unavoidably ripe with extratextual meaning.

Popular on Variety

The Three Disappearances of Soad Hosni


Production: A Joun Films, Arab Fund for Arts and Culture production, with the support of CNC, Fidlab, the Serpentine Gallery. Produced, directed, written, edited by Rania Stephan.

Crew: Camera (color/B&W, HD), Rana Eid. Reviewed at Doha Tribeca Film Festival (competing), Oct. 27, 2011. Running time: 67 MIN.

More Film

  • Minyan

    'Minyan': Film Review

    Best known for the unexpectedly soul-shattering San Francisco suicide doc “The Bridge,” indie filmmaker Eric Steel came out and came of age in 1980s New York at a moment just before AIDS devastated the city’s gay community. Such timing must have been surreal, to assume something so liberating about one’s own identity, only to watch [...]

  • Animated Movie 'The Queen's Corgi' Fetches

    Film New Roundup: Animated Movie 'The Queen's Corgi' Fetches North American Distribution

    In today’s film news roundup, “The Queen’s Corgi” finds a home, the Overlook Film Festival is postponed and the California Film Commission adjusts its tax credit rules due to the coronavirus. ACQUISITION Freestyle Digital Media has acquired North American rights to the animated family comedy feature “The Queen’s Corgi,” and plans to make it available on DVD and to [...]

  • APA Logo

    APA Sets Salary Cuts and Furloughs in Wake of Covid-19 Pandemic

    Following in the steps of several agencies dealing with the coronavirus, APA has informed all offices of upcoming salary cuts along with possible suspensions and furloughs for employees due to the pandemic’s economic effect on the industry. APA board of directors will make the largest financial sacrifice. The move has been made to avoid layoffs [...]


    DGA, SAG-AFTRA, WGA Scramble to Keep Residuals Flowing During Coronavirus Pandemic

    Hollywood’s creative guilds have been working overtime to keep residual checks going out to members during the coronavirus crisis. Even though most of the staff members of the Directors Guild of America, SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America West have been working remotely, the guilds have stepped up efforts to maintain the flow of [...]

  • Hannah Marks, Dylan Sprouse. Hannah Marks,

    How a Bart Simpson T-Shirt Delayed Dylan Sprouse’s Movie ‘Banana Split’

    Long before the release of “Booksmart,” actress Hannah Marks set out to make a movie that would be the female bookend to “Superbad.” She started writing the script eight years ago, at 18, based on a real-life story about how, in high school, she befriended the girlfriend of her ex-boyfriend. Many drafts followed for “Banana [...]

  • Ryan Reynolds'6 Underground' film premiere, Arrivals,

    Ryan Reynolds in Talks to Star in 'Dragon's Lair' Film Adaptation for Netflix

    Ryan Reynolds is in talks to star in and produce a live-action feature adaptation of the ’80s arcade game “Dragon’s Lair” for Netflix. Roy Lee will produce through his Vertigo Entertainment with Trevor Engelson of Underground Films. Don Bluth, Gary Goldman and Jon Pomeroy are also producing. Reynolds will produce through his Maximum Effort production [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content