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Kinawi, a physically challenged peddler who makes his living selling newspapers in the central Cairo train station, is obsessed by Hannouma, an attractive young woman who sells drinks. While she treats Kinawi in a sympathetic way and jokes with him about a possible relationship, She is actually in love with Abu Sri', a strong and respected porter at the station who is struggling to unionize his fellow workers to combat their boss' exploitative and abusive treatment. Written by
Youssef Chahine goes mad in his quest for sexy Hind Rostom
"Cairo Station" is the title on my print, referring to the film's location which is the train station in Cairo. This is an excellent film noir with a neo-realist strain. Youssef Chahine is the star and he directed this fine thriller. He plays a dirt poor man without a woman who has a strong thirst for the vivacious Hind Rostom, who is engaged to Farid Shawqi.
The action plays out in and around the station and among its working people. This and the location work, which shows all sorts of people around the station, are what give it a neo-realist feel along side the noir elements that by the end are dominant. Chahine peddles newspapers. Rostom and other ladies sell soft drinks when trains stop, to the chagrin of the station's vendors who set the police on them. Shawqi is a porter, trying hard to unionize the porters and get better work conditions.
The acting is very good, with Chahine being excellent. The visuals are creative and lovely, pulling us right into the lively story and always complementing it. The story too is creative, unusual and carries a message. The cinematic artistry in this film is at a very high level. The director makes great use of the tracks, the rolling trains, and the train interiors, as well as a warehouse and other parts of the station, not to mention the people.
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