7.6/10
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Al-qahira menauwwara bi Ahlaha (1991)

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21 September 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cairo as Told by Youssef Chahine  »

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User Reviews

Cairo Sees You
9 May 2010 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

I grabbed the opportunity to see this because there I have very little opportunity to see Arab-speaking films.

This came to me without context or explanation; I have to assume that it was made for French TeeVee. It is ever so impressive because of the assumptions made of the viewers' intelligence. I think it would be hard to find something like this in the US.

A Eqyptian film teacher is filmed, moving through Cairo. Early in the thing, he is approached by a stranger looking for an acting job, someone who turns into the main character of the film, including going to the movies. The professor asks his class what they think a film about Cairo should be like. They students provide a list of shots, styles and scenarios. Over time every one of these appears.

It is full of this sort of self-referential humor, very intelligent. Much of what is shown is thus much deeper because of the overt introspection. Every shot is a comment. Largely unnoticed is the way the styles and scenes flow so effortlessly. The city itself is a potpourri, and soon we settle for it to be described this way as well, with a profound array of facets.

The scope of this is fantastic: individual people love and we do individually. Whole mobs rise up and we move with them. Individuals in love comment on the mobs and we are shifted as we see that the thing is being filmed Godard-wise.

It is only 22 minutes. Even the end credits are amazing. If this is indicative of what's out there, I want more.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.


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