6.8/10
333
3 user 11 critic

Farsh w Ghata (2013)

In one of the most extraordinary nights in the history of Egypt, the prisons were suddenly opened, leaving thousands of prisoners wandering the desert. Among them was one man trying to find... See full summary »

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1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Amr Abed
Mohamed Mamdouh
Mona Sheimy ...
Wife
Seif El Aswany
Sondos Shabayek
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Latifa Fahmy ...
The Mother
Yara Goubran
Atef Yousef

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In one of the most extraordinary nights in the history of Egypt, the prisons were suddenly opened, leaving thousands of prisoners wandering the desert. Among them was one man trying to find his way in a city that is rapidly changing for good. Written by The Writer

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20 May 2014 (USA)  »

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Rags & Tatters  »

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[I trust that you will bare with me For you always bare with the weak I come to you in humility Pray accept me and of my acceptance kindly speak Pray accept me pray tell me, that I'm accepted]
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Unusual and beautiful tone poem of a violent and nightmarish moment
15 January 2015 | by (US) – See all my reviews

A thought-provoking and sometimes beautiful work set at the start of the Egyptian revolution in 2011. Our nameless protagonist is one of the many who were mysteriously freed from prisons just before Mubarek left power.

He enters a nightmare world of shadows and violence, with the poor trapped between numerous warring factions. He finds himself on a quest to somehow broadcast his cell phone video of the chaos (in this case the shooting of a friend) that is consuming his country, so people will know what happened. He doesn't know who to trust, where to turn.

Film-maker Abdalla takes an unusual approach to this not unfamiliar set up. While the opening of the film, and one or two other brief sequences are shot in the 'shakey-cam', hand held style we've become used to for films about a time of violence and uncertainty, most of the film is beautifully and deliberately framed. The use of light is also special, with a number of scenes shot at gorgeous magic hour, or with what look like real street-lights turning mountains of garbage into a surreal and somehow beautiful landscapes.

The film has very little dialogue, preferring to tell it's story in images. And so, in taking a sort of tone-poem approach Abdalla does two things. On one hand he creates a slightly distanced feel. The heat of the inherently dramatic situation is cooled by the lovely silhouetted shots, and slow pace. But, for me, that was more than offset by what the style added – a kind of universality that few films made in the heat of recent real events have. There's a feeling that, for all the specific cultural markers, in its dream like, slow-motion fearfulness this could be anywhere, anytime that people are lost and torn between the threat of immanent death, and their need to share the truth with the world.


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