Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Behjet Al-Jubouri

Big applause for Iraqi actor Behjet Al-Jubouri.

Many congratulations for receiving the award of the best supporting actor on his role in one of the most controversial Egyptian movies of last year, "Chief Omar Harb". Al-Jubouri plays the role of a reckless Iraqi man living in Egypt who didn't care much but for spending teh time getting drunk or gambling. I saw part of the movie last year, because of the bad quality of the copy I didn't finish it till end, but I loved the role Behjet Al-Jubouri played, he did it wonderfully.

It fills my heart with pride and joy seeing that depsite all the difficulties Iraqis have gone through in the past decades and until now, there are still beautiful, inventive, couragous people here and there shining like stars from the deep darkness of a glooming night.

Other Iraqi actors call him "the genies". Mr Al-Jubouri played different roles on theater, movies and television. People watched him as the cold-hearted villain; he also played the good man who fight for the good of his people; a lover and he is even known for his ability to combine drama and comedy in many roles.

Behjet Al-Jubouri is originally from Dhi Qar province. From a family who wanted their son to be a doctor or an engineer, instead he joined the institute of art where he got his diploma. During the 1970's his focus was mainly on the theater, especially after moving to the capital Baghdad. In addition, he directed a number of plays for school theater in his own town, Al Nasiriayh.

In mid 1980's Al-Jubouri took parts in movies, such as the historic epic-movie "Al Qadisiya" (tells the story of kicking out the Persians from Iraq by Muslim armies - one of my favorite movies), and "Another Day". His appearance on theater was magnificant, no Iraqi would forget his part in "a House and 5 Doors" or "Suberbans". Years later and after the decline in producing and making plays on theater in Iraq, the focus was turned towards the silver screen, through the 1990's. The prominent actor appeared on many TV series such as "The Whale and the Wall" and "Cradle of Fire".

I loved his role in "Wolves of the Night" series, where he played a gang leader who just got out of years in jail when he decide to make one last adventure before retirements.

Like many actors and artists from Iraq after the fall of the Iraqi regime, Al-Jubouri left his country in 2006 to Egypt - some sources indicates that the main reason for leaving Iraq was the actor deteriorating health which needed special medical care.

Al-Jubouri is known for his harsh critic of the status of the Iraqi TV drama at the moment. His repraoch of Iraqi artists (actors as well as directors) being reckless is not by any means the reason for him to try to seek opportunities outside Iraq. His judgment is based on his love for his profession and his wish to see Iraqi media and TV drama and theater in aprticular improve. His observation is not new, actually, one of the reasons he quit acting for a short time back in the 1980's was because of his fear from the the ill-fate of many great old actors by the former Iraqi regime. Yet, he emphesized on many occasions that Iraq still a great source of talents in all kind of arts, and the potential is huge if the opportunity and financial resources available.

According to some sources, Behjet Al-Jubouri is working on a big project, a TV series based on true events taken from records of Iraqi secret service during the Saddam era.

This is something I am looking forward to.

From my heart I wish Behjet Al-Jubouri health, especially with the news about his heart health problems recently.

From my heart I congratulate Mr Al-Jubouri again for the award.

Below is the trailer of "Chief Omar Harb" - seen on 0:59

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