Both the vibrant texture and the extreme social stratification of Cairo come to the fore in this satire/drama about a filmmaker, a cabbie, and a prostitute who get thrown together for one night’s wild ride.
The latest film from SIFF favorite Ahmad Abdalla (Microphone, Rags and Tatters, Decor) is an exploration of life in contemporary Cairo as seen through the eyes of three characters who come together for one 24-hour period. Moe is a film director, and the film opens on the set of his current project, which is in turmoil. His personal life is no better; his girlfriend has recently left him, and his novelist friend has been sentenced to prison for using "profound language" in his work. Heading across town to edit, he is picked up by taxi driver Mustafa, but due to Cairo's notorious traffic, their progress is slow. They take a detour to Mustafa's nephew's place where they encounter Hala, a sex worker and one of Mustafa's earlier fares. Together the three embark on a meandering journey around town which lasts the rest of the night, and takes the middle-class Moe into neighborhoods and circumstances that he might not otherwise experience, given Cairo's social segregation. Class, gender, and religion all contribute to the shifting dynamics among the three characters, in this portrait of Egyptian society in the aftermath of the failed revolution.
Egyptian filmmaker Ahmad Abdalla studied music in Cairo before shifting his career to film editing in 2003. He directed his first feature film Heliopolis in 2009, one of the first independent Egyptian films to be released theatrically in Egypt, and his award-winning film Microphone (2010) was selected among the best 100 Arabic films in history by the Dubai Film Festival. After writing and directing Rags and Tatters (2013) and Decor (2014), both of which showed at SIFF, EXT. Night (2018) is Abdalla's fifth feature film.
Sponsored by KING 5
- Original Language Title: Leil Khargi
- Director: Ahmad Abdalla
- Principal Cast: Karim Kassem, Mona Hala, Sherif El Desouky, Ahmad Magdy, Aly Kassem
- Country: Egypt, United Arab Emirates
- Year: 2018
- Running Time: 98 minutes
- Producer: Hala Lotfy, Karim Kassem, Ahmad Abdalla
- Screenplay: Sherif Alfy
- Cinematographers: Ahmad Abdalla
- Editors: Sara Abdallah
- Awards: Cairo International Film Festival 2018 (Best Actor)
- Filmography: Decor (2014); Rags & Tatters (2013); Microphone (2010); Heliopolis (2009)
- Language: Arabic, English
- Has Subtitles: Yes
- Format: DCP
- International Sales: Film Clinic Indie Distribution