Owing to unfortunate circumstances, two Egyptian women are suddenly evicted from their home. For a while, stunning young actress Aida Hussein and her older neighbour Samiha, an ageing diva, form a makeshift family with angelic problem-solver Yassin. They crisscross a bustling, threatening Cairo in taxis, looking for a safe place to spend the night. Their tribulations lead them to estranged family members and former friends and lovers.
As life goes on, urgent current issues pass by lightly. Their meetings awaken memories which, like Aida’s inner voice, are presented in colourful, dreamy intermezzos with music and dance. The costumes are carefully chosen and poetry plays a major role: “The cactus flower blossomed while the light was still young”, as singer Bassem’s song, laden with meaning, goes. Director Elkoussy, whose video art has been exhibited in Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum, combines her talents in this melancholy yet hopeful debut, supported by the Hubert Bals Fund. 

Original title
Zahret al sabar
Filmmaker
Hala Elkoussy
Premiere
World premiere
Country
Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Norway, Qatar
Year
2017
Medium
DCP
Length
104’
Language
Arabic
Producer
Hossam Elouan, Hala Elkoussy, Abdelsalam Moussa
Production Company
Transit Films, Nu'ta Films
Sales
Transit Films
Writer
Hala Elkoussy
Cinematography
Abdelsalam Moussa
Sound Design
Moustafa Abdel Hamid
Cast
Salma Samy, Menha El Batrawy, Marwan Alazab, Zaki Fateen, Arfa Abdel Rassoul, Sedky Sakhr