Director: Tamer El Said
Country: Egypt/Germany/Great Britain/United Arab Emirates
Year: 2016
Running time: 118 min
In Arabic with English subtitles
Format: DCP
Sound: Dolby SR 5.1
Apect Ratio 1:1.85

Download the press kit

To book this film
please contact us


Tamer El Said’s ambitious debut feature tells the fictional story of a filmmaker from downtown Cairo played by Khalid Abdalla (The Kite Runner, United 93, Green Zone, The Square) as he struggles to capture the soul of a city on edge while facing loss in his own life. Shot in Cairo, Beirut, Baghdad and Berlin during the two years before the outbreak of revolution in Egypt, the film’s multi-layered stories are a visually rich exploration of friendship, loneliness and life in cities shaped by the shadows of war and adversity.

Caligari Film Prize at Berlinale
Critics Award for Best Arab Film in 2016, Arab Cinema Center
Grand Prix of New Horizons International Film Festival
Grand Prix of Festival des 3 Continents, Nantes
Best Film, San Francisco Arab Film Festival, USA, 2016
Best Director at Buenos Aires International Film festival (BAFICI)


Click on thumbnails for hi-res version



"Beautiful, brooding...a quasi-documentary fiction with both multiple precedents and none at all... It is above all a richly sensuous film, which strives to accommodate the thick, shifting layers of sight and sound that overwhelm verbal descriptions of Cairo."
—Stuart Klawans, The Nation

"El Said’s rapturous images of Cairo — wide shots at night, handheld shots following Khalid into alleys and through bustling streets — create a striking portrait of a metropolis that is constantly changing. (You should, by the way, try to see this on the biggest screen you can find.)... What we’re really witnessing is how a city becomes a memory, how a physical home becomes a spiritual one, and how a man becomes a ghost."
—Bilge Ebiri, The Village Voice

feels at once impressionistic and monumental, a drifting collage of fragments that amounts to something singular and fully realized...its tone is elegiac, at once tender and frustrated.El Said’s film confronts the impossibility of imposing order on the chaos and noise of a big city or tying up the unraveling strands of a life. Even more piercingly, it expresses the anguish of loving impossible cities: places that batter their inhabitants with war, violence, political or religious oppression, yet keep a hold on them with beauty, memory, an ineffable sense of belonging."
—Imogen Sara Smith, Film Comment

"Without doubt the most important event in Egyptian cinema, if not Arab cinema, in a very long time."
—Jean-Michel Frodon,

“A melancholic love-hate poem to Cairo and the role of filmmakers in any city in pain.”
—Jay Weissberg, Variety

“Majestic... a lionhearted elegy for the Egyptian capital, artistic heritage in the Arab world, inspired politics, and hope itself”
—Kaelen Wilson-Goldie, Artforum

“Beautifully lensed and complexly edited in a dense patchwork of people, feelings and events”
—Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter







Facebook Instagram Twitter Google +