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Youssef El Sherif
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
This is simply one fine movie because it follows a solid and involving story about simple characters, dealing with only seemingly small problems and frustrations.
This is actually a quite daring movie, from such a religious and strict country such as Egypt, especially for its time of course. Not that there is anything shocking in by any other standards but the main characters is a both mentally as physically handicapped one and the female lead is quite flirtatious and free-minded. Besides, the movie also casually has other themes such as female rights and abuse, not just toward women but also abuse from the bosses of the simple workers and denying them equal rights. But the movie is not preachy about any of these subjects at all and I like I said, it actually only handles it casually as the movie it's main story moves along. And the movie does move quite fast, which is not necessarily due to its pace but more because there is always something happening story-wise, with one of the many characters.
It's all being weaved in quite cleverly and effectively with its main story of the physically challenged peddler, who falls for the very attractive Hanuma, who is way more woman than he ever can handle. It's therefore also an already doomed love-story from the start and luckily the movie also doesn't have a fairy tale type of story.
It's a bit of an old fashioned done sort of movie, with also some unusual acting styles in it but this is what works quite refreshing at the same time. It's always interesting to compare movies from different continents, that got made during the same time period. Every country has its own strongly present culture present and also a different sort of film-making that goes along with it. This movie got made at the time period that is known as the golden age of Egyptian cinema. Many people don't seem to know this but during the '40's and '50's lots of worldwide critically acclaimed movies got made in Egypt, of which this movie is also one.
A great vivid movie, that follows a great story and has some solid characters in it.
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