A newspaper salesman at the train station in Cairo develops an unhealthy obsession with a woman who sells refreshments.A newspaper salesman at the train station in Cairo develops an unhealthy obsession with a woman who sells refreshments.A newspaper salesman at the train station in Cairo develops an unhealthy obsession with a woman who sells refreshments.
The story begins with Madbouli introducing the film and explaining how me met and befriended Qinawi*. Qinawi was a poor guy with a limp without a friend in the world...so he adopted him and helped set him up at the train station selling newspapers. What follows for much of the film is showing the plight of all the many workers at the station-- the porters, women who work there illegally selling drinks and the rest. They get paid next to nothing and life is very, very hard.
About midway through the story, Qinawi approaches Hanouma and proposes to her. But he's poor, limps and seems a bit slow intellectually...and Hanouma is an obnoxious pig. So she laughs at him and belittles him for proposing to her! Qinawi is crushed...and soon has murder on his mind. Here is where it gets interesting because although everyone watching the picture knows murder is wrong, within many or perhaps most watching the film, there is a part of them that wants to see the coarse and horrid Hanouma die! This reminds me of the great 1944 film, "The Suspect"...where the audience naturally cheers for the leading man to kill and hopes he gets away with it!! I don't want to say more...other than the plan does NOT go as Qinawi hoped...and ends on a very sad note.
The film has a good story but there are other interesting things going for it. The camera-work is pretty amazing...especially coming from a nation not known for filmmaking. Many of the scenes have an almost film noir style to them with the lighting and camera angles. And, the film is rather daring--especially choosing to make the movie about folks near the bottom of society. Worth seeing.
*Like many films not in English and from countries with non-Western alphabets, there is no one way to spell the characters' names. The subtitles call him Qinawi and IMDb Kinawi...both are correct.
- Mar 9, 2017