5 September 2010
Ranu’s Adventures with the Coptic Alphabet is the first ever film to be made about the Coptic language.
The film will appeal to all ages. Watani was present at a special screening to a full house at the Anba Rweis Theatre of St Mark’s Cathedral in Abbasiya, Cairo. The film was written by Victor Sadeq, directed by Adel Samir and Victor Mounir and produced by Gamal Sadeq. Attending the screening were Anba Marqos, the bishop of Shubra al-Kheima, and several professors from the Institute of Coptic Studies.
Kamal Farid, professor of Coptic language, expressed his pleasure in seeing this mega work in the field of Coptology, especially in that several famous Coptic actors and actresses acted in the film. This, according to Mr Farid, will encourage those interested in learning the Coptic language.
For centuries, Anba Marqos said, the Coptic language was the language of all Egyptians. But today, he reminded, this language is all but forgotten. He expressed his gratitude to Victor Sadeq who is fluent in Coptic and has taught it for a few years now, and thanked everyone who contributed to the work, including the prominent Caricaturist Nagy Kamel.
Attractive and impressive
The film screening, which began an hour and 45 minutes late, opened with the song “The Golden Sun” which cheered the four characters in the film, the children Ranu, Nini, Mina and Janey. Through their adventures in the garden they introduce the Coptic letters and numbers in an enchanting way, urging the audience to repeat after them.
Introducing words and letters were accompanied with innovative cartoon animation to illustrate the numbers one-two-three: waay, snav, shomt and so on. Another song with quite beautiful music explained the colours in Coptic: red is afresh roush, yellow is ah-on and blue is asylon.
With every letter, the film teaches the viewers how to pronounce it correctly, with songs such as: “place your teeth on top of the others; and the tongue over the top teeth.”
At the end of the film the letters and numbers appear in succession in form and pronunciation. The actors perform a song to say “Ogay, “Good bye to everyone”.
Who you are
Unlike the academic method of learning Coptic, Father Marqos Abdel-Messih, secretary of the sub-committee of Christian products, praised the easy method of learning Coptic language by illustrating the letters and animals’ names in a lovely way for children.
The work took about a year and half, and among the veteran actors and actresses who took part were Youssef Daoud, Nadia Rafiq, Nagy Saad and Gamil Barsoum.
Adel Samir, who told Watani that the production team was planning to bring out an attached cassette tape or booklet, has directed 12 Christian films, 22 plays and eight historical and dramatic biographies.
The idea was the brainchild of Victor Sadeq, who struggled to bring the film to a conclusion. His interest in the Coptic language began when he was student in 1990, and he later taught both Coptic language and music at the Church of the Holy Virgin in Qanater, north of Cairo. Sadeq praised the role in helping to revive the Coptic language played by the veteran Egyptian musician Hany Shenouda who composed 36 melodies for this special work.
It is as Anba Marqos said: “Your language reveals who you are.” And Coptic is a very significant tributary of the Egyptian identity.