Arabian Nights
Egypt / 2008 / Arabic dialogue with English subtitles / Colour / 35 mm / 90 minutes
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From the restless imagination of a young girl in a rundown suburb of Cairo, springs a rich and dynamic story dealing with power, corruption, yearning and childhood innocence. Shams is a playful, inquisitive 11-year-old, whose greatest wish is to be taken to the mysterious downtown district of Ein Shams. Her teacher, Fatma, pours scorn on the idea, and to make matters worse, her father, the beleaguered taxi driver and part-time chauffeur Ramadan can't find the time to take her. But it's Ramadan's employer, the shady businessman Selim Bey (Boutros Boutros Ghali) who expands this tale into a story dealing with Cairene society at a profound level. While Ramadan and his little family are scrimping by, Selim Bey, outwardly prosperous, is facing financial difficulties too. By pulling together this tangled weave of stories, director Ibrahim El Batout presents a tale that is an insightful and pointed as it is heartwarming and tender. Earlier this year, 'Ein Shams' won the Golden Tauro at the Taormina Film Festival.



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