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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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
[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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I loved this movie, saw it as part of the London Film Festival.
It's a tragic yet tender look at life during the Egyptian revolution with exceptional direction and camera-work. It focuses on one character as he lives almost as an urban nomad, going from place to place trying to get footage on his phone of what's actually happening during the riots to a news station. It's not concerned with the what and how of the revolution but how people's lives are in uncertainty.
An interesting directorial choice is while it's focused on one character, it's mostly dialog-free. He only gets one or two lines. Other characters speak but there's selective mutism on the protagonist. If there's a scene of him talking, you can hear just the ambiance or his speaking is drowned out by the loud noise of a motorbike, so you can only infer from his actions. It succeeds unlike in other similar films using this choice, because you get much more to work with such as the more realistic performances and handling of tense subject matter.
So the film is carried by Asser Yassin's subtle and powerful performance, the meditative atmospheric electronic/guitar music by Mahmoud Hamdy (and can be heard in the trailer), and the steadicam cinematography by Tarek Hefny. I would have expected some more guerrilla shaky camera-work for a revolution-set film (it's only at the very ending) but here the steadicam gives it a quiet calm of the storm feeling. It was also cool to notice the symbolism of the movie's title as drapes in the foreground obscuring two main characters having a smoke break.
I hope for more films about the Arab revolution. It was quite a challenge for a mostly dialog-free art-house movie to come out of Egypt and I hope these kind of realistic movies get an audience.
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