May 11, 2009

Eye of the Sun!

Posted in Movies Reflections at 1:08 pm by Rou...

With almost no budget, depending only on individual initiatives and the volunteer team of actors, comes quite a different movie experience called “Ein Shams” or “Eye of the Sun”, which takes Cairo neighborhood of Ein Shams, that was once built on the ruins of the ancient city of Heliopolis, as its main setting…

 

Directed by Ibrahim El Batout and written for screen by Tamer El-Said and El Batout, the movie was screened by a digital camera, and converted later to a 35 mm film through the support of the Moroccan Cinema Center. The movie represented Egypt in a number of international film festivals and won several awards, while banned from being showed in Egypt for almost a year until lately.

 

The acting in general was very good along with the building blocks of the movie that reflected many of the everyday problems of Egyptians, such as unemployment, drug addiction, and football obsession…

 

One of the important scenes from my point of view was that of the demonstrator who was having a lift by the Taxi driver Ramadan who knew absolutely nothing about the reason of the demonstrations… The demonstrator told Ramadan while stepping down of the Taxi, “By the way, I wasn’t in the demonstration by coincidence…” leaving Ramadan staring at him without a word… For me, this showed the amount of isolation that the various sectors of the Egyptian community live in; “كلٌ يغني على ليلاه”… The shots for real demonstrations that El Batout included prior to that scene, showing the amount of brutality that the security officers face the demonstrators with, gave a much more “Real” meaning to this part…

 

I loved the little girl “Shams” ’ dreams of being taken to downtown Cairo, which she envisioned as a place of fairy-tale charm… only to find out eventually when she visits it for real that her dreams were much more beautiful that reality…

 

I also loved the scene finale of the movie, with the narration voice saying that people will soon get used to “something”, just the way they get used for everything… and the scene ends with the police officers waving for “Ramadan” the Taxi Driver to stop for a checkpoint (without any particular reason as usual)…

 

The few flaws I found in the movie were mainly regarding the way the threads were connected… I felt like there wasn’t enough exploration in each character to leave me dramatically satisfied… Same goes for the real scenes of Iraqi troops after the first Gulf War that El Batout included in the movie through the story of the Egyptian doctor Mariam, who goes to Baghdad to research the carcinogenic effects of the depleted uranium left by U.S. troops in the first Gulf War. For me, it was out of context, even with the fact that he wanted to make a sarcastic comparison that Egypt, without being affected by such war in terms of Uranium, had cancer spread in it through other forms of pollution…

 

However, in all cases, “Ein Shams” is a very good experience and trial, and by all means is well worth watching…

 

Have a good day,
Rou…

 

P.S.
One final point, I’m in no position to talk technically here, but the sound was really terrible at some parts, especially in the narration at the beginning of the movie…

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2 Comments »

  1. nerro said,

    I love the experience, and the director’s perseverence. for finally local independent cinema will find its way to the Egyptians. The director has definitely opened the door for many talents to step in and introduce us to a different kind of cinema that has been anticipated for a long time.

  2. Rou... said,

    ya Nerro, I loved the experience too… and I couldnt agree more that this will definetly open the door to this kinds of movies…


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