The Instagram account and YouTube channel Wunmunshu features adaptations of scenes from classic Egyptian cinema with the jazziest tracks ever, or what its creator calls “an infinite palette of tunes”. Wunmunchu simply revisits our classics in an innovative way. Sometimes incorporating graphics, the montages result in the freshest audio-visual mixes ever, making you feel like dancing, laughing and swaging like an old school Egyptian movie star.
If there’s anything such as “alternative culture”, the Egyptian graphic designer behind Wunmunshu’s videos is part of it. When he tells us he wants to remain anonymous for reason of not being “a big fan of publicity”, we start having stars in our eyes imagining the Egyptian Banksy in person. He tells us he loves Banksy. He mentions Shepard Fairey (the man behind the OBEY Giant campaign) and Ismail Yassine as two of his biggest inspirations, and at this point we’re convinced this article is going to be a good one.
The Wunmunshu videos all started while our graphic designer was rewatching ‘El Erhab Wel Kebab’ on his TV while casually shuffling through his iPod, as one does. At the scene of the police raid in the Mogama3, his iPod randomly played the track Machine Language, by the band Animation, and “it made perfect sense” he tells us, “it was beautiful”. The artist then started compiling videos. He showed them to some friends who made fun of him. “And that’s how I knew I was up to something” he tells us.
Now, his creations usually come about whenever he listens to good music that makes him want to go and dig out some movies to match. Because the man behind Wunmunshu is above all a music fan. “From Free Jazz to hard-core Punk Rock, I love somehow everything”. About classic Egyptian cinema, he tells us: “it’s the only thing I watch and can relate to. I don’t relate to new stuff”. This is also the reason why he tries to leave the scenes he picks raw and stay minimalist, as he tells us “they are so great on their own”.
When his fiancé is the expert in Egyptian cinema and sometimes helps with picking cult scenes, his sister had a very important input to the concept. The graphic designer was telling her one day that he really felt like he needed “to do something with [his] life” and she answered something along the lines of “yes you should do your own ‘one man show’”. With her accent, it apparently sounded a lot like some Japanese word and as two fans of Animes (Japanese animations), they decided to call it ‘Wunmunshu’.
Ever since Wunmunshu started about a year and a half ago, it got interest from all over the world. The creator tells us a girl from the Netherlands who discovered them through Instagram told him she had no idea about the huge Egyptian cinema industry. Wunmunshu’s creator doesn’t monetize the videos and just aims at spreading his love for good music and good films. And we’re all about that!
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