Posts Tagged ‘Film Review’


Crossroads: Panorama of the European Film and our constantly evolving identity

European cinema might be the focus of the Panorama of the European Film, but in recent years the festival has also shed light on underexposed Egyptian and regional cinema. With the launch of Zawya in 2014, which created many opportunities year-round for less commercial Egyptian and regional films to be presented, alongside films from various […]

The principal egpyt

Egypt’s cinematic gems: The Principal

Al-Nazer (The Principal, 2000) is arguably one of the funniest films in Egypt’s recent cinematic history, maybe even of all time. There, a bold statement to introduce the gem of the week, a comedy about Egypt’s failing education system to coincide with the start of the new school year. — Published on Mada Masr. Directed […]


Egypt’s cinematic gems: Watch Out for Zuzu

Looking for a gem to write about this week, I was surprised to find that one of Egypt’s most-loved films, Khali Balak Men Zuzu (Watch Out for Zuzu, 1972), wasn’t already covered. — Published on Mada Masr. Boasting an impressive cast on both sides of the camera, this feel-good musical is written by cartoonist and […]


Assessing Hany Khalifa’s long-awaited Bitter Sugar

Co-written with Alia Ayman and Yasmine Zohdi on Mada Masr. It’s hard not to compare Sukkar Mor (Bitter Sugar) with director Hany Khalifa’s first and only other feature film, Sahar al-Layaly (Sleepless Nights, 2003). Both follow upper-middle-class Egyptian couples trying to cope with relationship issues, and both get their names from songs by Lebanese singers […]


Welad Rizk: A guilty pleasure

Co-written with Amany Ali Shawky for Mada Masr. There can be something unbelievably sexy about a group of young men walking into a desolate landscape or driving a convertible into an ailing city. Strangely, the sons of Rizk enjoy the same allure as Alex DeLarge and his Droogs in Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 futuristic flick A […]


Propaganda of shattered dreams: Remembering the films of July 23

If you grew up in Cairo, July 23 is likely associated with a long weekend in the north with your family, a televised military parade celebrating the 1952 revolution, and watching a swarm of films depicting the Free Officers Movement that launched the revolution (or coup, rather) that felled King Farouk and established the Egyptian […]

The past will return

The Past Will Return, but is sincerity enough?

Dina Hamza’s much-anticipated film Gaye al-Zaman (The Past Will Return) closed Hybrid Reels, the celebrated 20-day non-fiction program at Zawya, with yet another full house. — Published on Mada Masr. The Past Will Return is extremely personal. In it, Hamza, who is now 36 and has been making films since 2004, uses the making process as […]


Egypt’s cinematic gems: The Empire of Satan

One of Salah Abu Seif‘s last films, strangely translated as The Empire of Satan in the credits, Al-Bedaya (The Beginning, 1986) starts with a written message from the director telling us that this film has nothing to do with reality, but is imagined by himself. He asks that we watch it a few times if we […]


Egypt’s cinematic gems: I am Free

Salah Abu Seif’s 1958 production Ana Hurra (I am Free) was definitely ahead of its time. But then again so was the Ihsan Abdel Quddous novel it was based on, published in 1952. — Published on Mada Masr. I am Free has a strong thematic focus on freedom. It also touches upon the feminist discourse emerging at […]

The Mulberry House by Sara Ishaq

Two films on Yemen in 2011 offer much to relate to

This week Scottish-Yemeni filmmaker Sara Ishaq presented two films back-to-back at Zawya: Oscar-nominated Karama has no Walls and a far more interesting feature on her family, The Mulberry House. – Published on Mada Masr. Both films screened at Zawya on Sunday 1 February, and interestingly enough, both were made simultaneously. Another fascinating discovery was that both […]