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
Egypt's official entry for 'Best Foreign Language Film' at the 31st Academy awards, Cairo Station is director Youssef Chahine's paean to the city he was born in and which influenced much of his later work. Reviled in Egypt by critics and moviegoers alike on its release, the film is now considered among the finest works of its kind. With touches of Hitchcock and Powell, the film tells the story of a crippled news vendor (played by Chahine himself) who is besotted with a beautiful and capricious seller of cold drinks (Hind Rustom). This unhealthy obsession, bordering on the homicidal, leads to a tragic denouement.
This misplaced love story, if it can be called that, is played out against the backdrop of the main train station at Cairo. Indeed, more than the players, the station is the focal point of interest of the movie. A cesspool of unceasing human activity, with its fights, petty intrigues, welcomes and tear-stained farewells, the station is the throbbing heart of this vast metropolis which combines comedy and tragedy in equal measure in the stories its citizens live to narrate.
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