6.6/10
6,098
55 user 92 critic

Cairo Time (2009)

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1:56 | Trailer
A romantic drama about a brief, unexpected love affair that catches two people completely off-guard.

Director:

Ruba Nadda

Writer:

Ruba Nadda
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Patricia Clarkson ... Juliette Grant
Alexander Siddig ... Tareq Khalifa
Elena Anaya ... Kathryn
Amina Annabi ... Yasmeen
Tom McCamus ... Mark
Mona Hala Mona Hala ... Jameelah
Fadia Nadda Fadia Nadda ... Hanan
Mohamed Abdel Fatah Mohamed Abdel Fatah ... Customs Officer (as Mohammed Abdel Fattah)
Hossam Abdulla Hossam Abdulla ... Porter
Nabil Shazli Nabil Shazli ... Manager
Ahmed Ghareeb Ahmed Ghareeb ... Propositioning Man
Hanafi Mohamoud El Gazar Hanafi Mohamoud El Gazar ... Shoe Shopkeeper
Roanne Bell Roanne Bell ... Sharon
Andrew Cullen Andrew Cullen ... Jim
Katie Sherif Katie Sherif ... Petroleum Wife #1
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Storyline

In Cairo on her own as she waits for her husband, Juliette finds herself caught in a whirlwind romance with his friend Tareq, a retired cop. As Tareq escorts Juliette around the city, they find themselves in the middle of a brief affair that catches them both unawares. Written by Pusan International Film Festival

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An adventure of the heart. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild thematic elements and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Canada | Ireland | Egypt

Language:

English | Arabic

Release Date:

16 October 2009 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

Souvenirs du Caire See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$66,245, 8 August 2010

Gross USA:

$1,603,616

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,995,012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Juliette's name bears a striking resemblance to the doomed female lead in the romantic tragedy "Romeo and Juliet". Tariq's name, in Arabic, means "he who pounds at the door". See more »

Goofs

The position of the women during the wedding sequence changes constantly. See more »

Quotes

Juliette Grant: [Last Lines]
[Silently crying]
Juliette Grant: I'm glad I waited.
See more »


Soundtracks

Let's Go
Performed by Catlow
Written by Natasha Thirsk and Brian Carson(SOCAN/ASCAP)
Published by Dirtmitts Publishing
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A story of love discovered...
29 October 2009 | by BobStageSee all my reviews

I've known Alexander Siddig from playing Dr. Bashir on "Star Trek; Deep Space Nine". I've seen Patricia Clarkson in "Jumanji" and "Vicky Christina Barcelona". Both these two actors unite to give us a very touching love story set in the background of Cairo.

Egypt is a timeless land that has had history's touch upon it even as it enters the new millennium. People's lives are bound to the countryside as well as the old cities modernized with technology. Ruba Nadda, a young Canadian film maker, has set her newest story in the city of Cairo. It concerns the clash of two very different cultures, and how the past and present collide to form such a layered city as Cairo. As well as showing us wonderful scenes within the city, we are given exceptional cinematography of the surrounding countryside. The White Desert and the Pyramids stand out, etched out in the land, seemingly by giants who preceded modern civilization.

The film follows Juliette, a middle-aged woman arriving in Egypt. She would have been with her husband, but he is away on a mission for the UN. Her two children have grown up and have moved into adult phases of their lives. She is left to see the city by herself, aided by an old friend of her husband's: the middle-aged Egyptian Tariq, a retired policeman who now owns a coffee shop in Cairo. He helps Juliette out of his friendship to the absent Mark, and Juliette is intrigued by this soft-spoken man. Their feelings inevitably grow into affection, but the gradual steps taken to that stage is what makes the movie so tender and well made. Juliette's explorations of Cairo and the people that live within its shadow give us a view into the foreign culture that lies waiting to be discovered.

If Juliette must carry the movie, she is supported by some well-made characters. Tariq is clearly the prominent of these, but there is also Yasmeen, the former love interest of Tariq who wants to rekindle the relationship, and Kathryn, a kindly woman who leads Juliette on a trip in the White Desert outside of the city. And of course, there is the ever absent Mark, who is continually held away from his wife.

To say that this is a sentimental piece that tugs on heart-strings is redundant. However, it has a life of its own beyond the stereotypes of the genre, brought about by the fantastic chemistry between Patricia Clarkson and Alexander Siddig. The two of them are professional actors and give us a love story that rivals the epic romance "Out of Africa" or the low-key "Lost in Translation".

Ruba Nadda also provides us with a well-written script that feels natural to the actors' tongues and the audience's ears. The mood of the film seems whimsical and light-hearted, especially during the scenes between the two leads, but there is a serious undertone played into the film. Questions are silently presented, aimed against such themes as love, fidelity, culture, and loneliness. Both characters are certainly lonely: Tariq has isolated himself from those that loved him, withdrawing into a kind of politeness that seems to discourage intimacy, while Juliette is isolated from her friends, her work, children, and her husband. Both need human contact, even as both must come to terms with their lives and what has come out of it all.

This small Canadian production has received a number of positive reviews, and has also won the Best Canadian Feature Award at the Toronto Film Festival. While I have certainly not seen all the Canadian films this year, I can definitely say that this was worthy of such an award. English Canadian cinema is so over-shadowed by Hollywood that one wonders if such cinema exists when compared to Quebec's film industry. However, once in a while, one can find such gems as this production, and be content to know that being Canadian means laying claim to truly great films such as this one.


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