Review of The Night of Counting the Years (1969)

Moving picture, 102 minutes

An Egyptian tribe gets a new leader in the 19th century. He questions the tribe’s traditional way of making a living in the desert. They know certain paths to forgotten tombs among towering ruins, and bring away the jewelry of ancient mummies, to sell it all to foreigners. The new leader thinks long and hard about abandoning this way of life and showing the secrets of the tribe to Egyptian authorities who might make better custodians.

A slow meditation on culture, and a genuine Egyptian fiction film about mummies, it has been marketed as The Mummy, but it’s not the undead kind like The Mummy (1932). It’s “Andrei Tarkovsky Goes to the Valley of Kings”.

moving picture fiction