Sunday, June 7, 2009

Samir Hilmi - Theme from Al Hodoud

The Syrian film Al Hodoud is the story of an Arab traveller who loses his passport between two Arab countries, and is forced to live on the borderline where neither country will let him in. Made in 1987, the film was a sharp criticism of regimes that preach unity, yet are far from it. I came across the video randomly on youtube and was dazzled by the music. Unfortunately the title, description and comments were entirely in Arabic, so I had no idea what it was, who it was, where I was, or why I was holding a half-eaten shish kabob. But after extensive research I was able to obtain the name of the film and (more importantly) the composer: Samir Hilmi. Hilmi did the scores for some other Syrian films, such as Al Kampars, but it seems there is no way to obtain his music on LP, cassette, or CD -- well, no way short of going to Syria, which I'm very tempted to do. I wanted to investigate further but the video had been removed by the youtube police... luckily I had saved a copy. If anyone out there knows how to obtain some of Samir Hilmi's music please get in touch.

I edited out the non-musical parts in the clip above, but included the first scene so you can have a look at this awesome car:


Anonymous said...


I came across your blog looking for a Carrie Cleveland tune (that I actually didn't found :) and I really enjoyed the weird - eclectic - fonky tracks you put down here. Thanks for sharing them ! Now, I've just read your post, and the fact is my sister currently lives in Damas, Syria. I'll get in touch with her, and see what's possible to do. I can't promise she'll find or have time to do so, but.. 'nch'Allah she'll manage to find good ol' Lps !

Wetic (from France).

Lucie said...

That's strange -- to my knowledge there's never been a Carrie, a Cleveland, or any combination thereof posted on this site... sorry to disappoint.

But this is fantastic news about the possibility of your sister finding some Samir Hilmi music in Syria! Thank you so much for the effort ... I would be eternally grateful.

Anonymous said...

Now, sure, there is no Carrie Cleveland here, but you know, you're looking for a special song, you open pages and pages then you start reading one and another, and then you realise you had forgotten what you were seeking and get interested in what you just discovered.. well, web surfing in a word. I'll try with my sister. Sure. By the way, try this :
Great song, deep soul.

Lucie said...

That is a great track, far better than than that "Make Love To Me" nonsense, in my opinion. I see a fellow named Mr. Lovetoes or something like that had posted the one you're looking for at some point but seems to have snatched it away. Best of luck finding the LP.

Alex said...

Al-Kampars... oh, you mean this film? If you can believe it, we sell video copies at my work.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lucie,

I've been calling my sis about a way to get this sound or video material directly from the the vaults of Damas souk sellers ! Well, She went for many walks there and asked a lot, no way. Everybody knows it, but nobody got it. The fact is that there is much more like mp3 "made in china" comps than good old egyptian LPs now..
Maybe she'll finally find something, maybe I'll do when I'll get there. But, anyway, this was just an attempt.
Thanks for the songs you put here and best regards.


Lucie said...

Hi Wetic,

Thanks so much for trying! I really appreciate all the effort your sister made. I know how hard it can be to find vinyl in some of these certain towns in India it would take hours upon hours of asking, and then if I was lucky I'd be led to a tiny corner in some dusty attic, where there would be one or two records... and inevitably one of them would be the Bobby soundtrack (it must be the Indian equivalent of 25 Most Beloved Melodies, of which there are 12 copies in every thrift store in America).

Anyway I'd actually be very interested to know if she comes across any vinyl whatsoever... or cassettes of Syrian pop music from the 80s.

Thanks again! Lucie