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Ameer Salah Eldin,
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This unique black and white film is a psychological drama about an Egyptian production designer named Maha. The film takes an unnerving turn when she finds herself transported into a completely different persona-a married housewife. This original piece remarkably captures the loneliness faced by some sufferers of mental illness, as well as the challenges faced by their loved ones. Filmmaker Ahmad Abdalla (Rags and Tatters, LFF 2013) fashions a beautiful tribute to the golden era of 1940s and 1950s Egyptian cinema. Abdalla shows plenty of aesthetic invention that has rightly seen him hailed as the leader of the critically acclaimed new independent Egyptian cinema.Written by
new century production
An art director on a B-movie, unhappy with its low standards, finds herself imagining that she is the central character in the film, living a different life...
Not a wholly novel premise (although it does - eventually - end up somewhere unexpected), and at least 20 minutes too long. In its favour, the director's decision to shoot in unflashy monochrome gives it a pleasingly old-fashioned feel, and the cast is excellent - especially Horeya Farghaly, who is the focus of every scene. The burden of making the film feel believable falls on her, and she bears it well.
The film is also a bit of a love letter to the golden age of Egyptian cinema, with numerous old films playing in the background. I am entirely ignorant of Egyptian cinema, but I imagine anyone with an interest in it would find plenty to enjoy in this.
The ending contains quite a neat trick, particularly if you're watching at a festival, as I did...
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