6.9/10
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In the Last Days of the City (2016)

Akher ayam el madina (original title)
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2:18 | Trailer
A documentary filmmaker in Cairo is having difficulty finishing his film, so his friends send him footage from the cities they live in: Baghdad, Beirut, and Berlin.

Director:

Tamer El Said
3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Khalid Abdalla ... Khalid
Laila Samy ... Laila
Hanan Youssef ... Hanan
Mariam Saleh Saad Mariam Saleh Saad ... Maryam
Hayder Helo Hayder Helo ... Hassan
Basim Hajar Basim Hajar ... Tarek
Bassem Fayad Bassem Fayad ... Bassem
Ali Subhi Ali Subhi ... Aly
Islam Kamal Islam Kamal ... Editor
Mohamed Gaber Mohamed Gaber ... Gaber
Etimad Ali Hassan Etimad Ali Hassan ... Etimad
Zeinab Mostafa Zeinab Mostafa ... Mother
Fadila Tawfik Fadila Tawfik ... Abla Fadila
Elsit Ikram Elsit Ikram ... Flower Lady
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mohamed Adel Mohamed Adel ... Protestor
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Storyline

Downtown Cairo, 2009. Khalid, a 35 year old filmmaker is struggling to make a film that captures the soul of his city while facing loss in his own life. With the help of his friends, who send him footage from their lives in Beirut, Baghdad and Berlin, he finds the strength to keep going through the difficulty and beauty of living IN THE LAST DAYS OF THE CITY. Written by Producer

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Language:

Arabic

Release Date:

27 April 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

In the Last Days of the City See more »

Filming Locations:

Cairo, Egypt See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Trivia

Filmed over two years and three winters. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A poetic portrait of Cairo in the time of revolution.
8 December 2016 | by CynthiaMargaretWebbSee all my reviews

IN THE LAST DAYS OF THE CITY directed by Tamer el Said (Egypt) (Nominated in Asia Pacific Screen Award's(APSA) Cultural Diversity Award, under patronage of UNESCO)

There is an experience of immersion while watching this melancholy and poetic film. A young film-maker , 35 year old Khalid, living in Cairo, is struggling with all that is happening in his world, and with finding a way to convey the situation in his beloved city. He collaborates sometimes with several artist friends, who have already left the city. One has gone to Berlin, one to Beirut and another to Baghdad He has an ex-girlfriend, Laila, who is about to leave too. And he is looking for a new apartment, but his real-estate agent is frustrated, because no place is ever suitable. This works as a metaphor for the fact that not only is he not comfortable in his apartment any more, - he is not comfortable in Cairo any more, although it's his beloved home. He wanders in the yellow-tinged world of the decaying and suffering city. The yellow tinge, is from the desert dust that often blows over the city. Tamer el Said says, 'I don't know where the film starts and my life ends. I see the yellow colour in Cairo all the time. This colour goes with a sense of loneliness.' Old Ottoman era houses are being demolished, there is unrest in the streets…and everything feels wrong, wrong, wrong. The film is clearly autobiographical, and Tamer reveals his soul via his alter-ego, Khalid. Tamer el Said explained, "The process of making the film is also the process of trying to understand himself, reflecting on many things. My main project is myself, although the film's main "character" is the City. I call Cairo the city that made me who I am. I live in the flat seen in the film, and that is my local neighbourhood. The people in the streets and cafes are my actual neighbours. The filming took place over two years and ended in 2010, only six weeks before the Revolution. I wanted to be part of this change. The editing process was a kind of battle with a beast – 250 hours of footage. Then I worked for a year doing the sound and post production, with collaborators, my amazing crew. Sometimes I spent the whole day editing one scene, then walked in the streets and saw the same people who had been in the footage I'd been editing that day, although four years may have passed. Then I asked myself, 'did something really change? How can we change anything without changing everything?' He continued: 'We grew up, used to experiencing loss and war around us. It shaped our lives and made us different from other people who grew up in Europe, for example. When travelling I realized that I get nervous when I see a police-man, because of my life-experience in Cairo. We cannot carry on like this – things have to change. The situation is no better under our new government, in terms of freedom of expression.' Tamer is disillusioned with the results of the "change he wanted to be part of." He was hoping for freedom and social justice. Tamer el Said graduated in 1998, and has been making short films and documentaries. "In The Last Days of the City" is his first feature film. It has been a slow process and low budget too, because there is no funding for film-making from the government, and there is strict control over freedom of expression in Egypt. However the end result of his labour is one of the most profoundly moving and poetic films I have seen in many years. Better than all the news bulletins and articles we read about what's happening to people in Egypt and other countries in the area around the Middle East, this film expresses the wounds, the disappointment, the eternal hope for a better life for everyone in the surrounding region. It is so tragic to see such ancient lands and cultures, that have had rich cultures and days of glory, now feeling this endless pain. A study of history will show that a lot of this turmoil today, was actually caused by events at the end of the First World War… when the victorious Allies sat over maps deciding on how to carve up among themselves, the former lands of the recently collapsed Ottoman Empire, and beyond. Also, by more recent political actions from modern powers too, but that's another story.


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