Shifting Sands

In The Last Days Of The City directed by Tamer El Said (Egypt) 2016 is one of the highlights of the 20th annual Arab Film Festival.

This haunting narrative feature attempts to cover the mood in Cairo just before the popular uprising that toppled the Hosni Mubarak regime.

Khalid, a young video maker, and his friends gather material for a documentary he is making about the city and other trouble spots in the area. While the main focus is on Egypt, there are also references to Beirut and Bagdad as well.

The film will screen again Sunday evening 16 October 2016 at the Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley. For more information and tickets contact Arab Film Festival.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved


Mohamed Diab Residency

Egyptian filmmaker Mohamed Diab was chosen as the 2013 artist-in-residence by the San Francisco Film Society. He will be in the Bay Area 1 – 15 October 2013 to participate in high school and college classroom appearances, a screening of his debut feature film, Cairo 678 (Egypt) 2010 at New People Cinema (1746 Post Street between Buchanan and Webster in San Francisco) Thursday 10 October 2013 at 7:00 PM, and a free artist talk at FilmHouse (1426 Fillmore Street between Ellis and O’Farrell in San Francisco) Monday 14 October 2013 at 5:00 PM. For more information, tickets, and reservations see the San Francisco Film Society web site.

diab film residency

Mohamed Diab was born 1977 in Mecca, Saudi Arabia and migrated to Egypt. After receiving a degree in commerce from Suez Canal University in Ismallia, a small city east of Cairo, he majored in cinema at the New York Film Academy. He wrote the scripts for four other films before directing Cairo 678, which deals with the sexual harassment of women in Egypt.

copyright © 2013 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

Egypt Rising

Another Night On Earth directed by David Munoz (Spain) 1012, is a collection of documentary snapshots showing both Cairo taxi drivers and their passengers over what appears to be a brief span of time.

All but one of the mature, long-employed drivers are male. The brief trips recorded are mostly at night as the vehicles move or are stuck in traffic. The exchanges recorded by the hidden camera gives viewers a taste of the densely populated city.

A skeptical young director, Namir Abdel Messeeh, sets out to make a documentary about Our Lady of Zeitoun, a heavenly apparition reported to have taken place in 1968 Cairo. His mother is a believer supportive of the project despite an earlier flop but she’s adamant about him not including her family in the movie.

The Virgin, The Copts, And Me, (France, Qatar) 2012 is a fun-filled adventure that exposes not only the difficulties and triumph of independent film production but also shows glimpses of life among an immigrant family settled in Europe in contrast to some of those left behind in North Africa.

Words Of Witness, directed by Mai Iskander (USA, Egypt) 2012 deals directly with the recent uprising in Egypt. It follows a young journalist working for an English-language newspaper as she covers the ongoing demonstrations in Tarir Square

Heba Afify was encouraged by her father to be independent while growing up but her mother is still fearful each time Heba leaves the house to pursue her career.

All three of these fine documentaries set in Egypt are part of the 16th Annual Arab Film Festival continuing this week in Berkeley and Los Angeles.

copyright © 2012 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved