The Destiny ( المصير , Al-Massir ) is an Egyptian film, 33 th feature film by Youssef Chahine , released in 1997 .

Dealing with tolerance and fundamentalism in a story set in the xii th century, it is primarily a film of astonishing news. In 1997, the film won the 50th Anniversary Prize of the Cannes Film Festival .


Through the life of the scholar Averroes is evoked the Andalusian the xii th century, instead of clashes between Muslims and scholars concerned extremists knowledge dissemination.

The philosopher Averroes, first advisor to Caliph al-Mansur , is known for his wisdom, tolerance and fairness. But the Caliph, wishing to soften the fundamentalists, orders the burning of all the works of the philosopher, whose concepts will influence not only the age of Enlightenment in the West, but all human thought. The disciples of Averroes and his relatives then decide to make copies and pass them beyond the borders.

This film, a documentary point of view, also informs us about the characteristics of the three great civilizations of the Mediterranean in xii th century. The geographical and historical context shows how strong the contacts between them were, whether they were peaceful or violent. Youssef Chahine delivers a portrait of the scientist Averroès, a man of varied knowledge, who contributed greatly to their enrichment.

Technical sheet

  • Original title: Al-Massir
  • French title: Le Destin
  • Director: Youssef Chahine
  • Scenario: Youssef Chahine , Khaled Youssef
  • Production: Humbert Balsan, Gabriel Khoury
  • Photography: Mohsen Nasr
  • Music: Kamal el-Tawil, Yohia el-Mougy
  • Distribution: Pyramid
  • Country: Egypt
  • Filming locations: Cité de Carcassonne
  • Genre: History
  • Duration: 135 minutes
  • Release date : ( France )


  • Nour El-Sherif : Averroes
  • Laila Eloui : the gypsy
  • Mahmoud Hemeida : the caliph
  • Safia el-Emary : the woman of Averroes
  • Mohamed Mounir : Marwan
  • Khaled El Nabawy : Nasser

Awards and Distinctions

  • Humanum Prize 1997 of the UPCB / UBFP – Union of the Belgian cinematographic press

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