Tuesday, January 1, 2013

18 Days (2011)

Director: RETENTION by Sherif Arafa
                 GOD’S CREATION by Kamla Abou Zikri
                 19-19 by Marwan Hamed
                 WHEN THE FLOOD HITS YOU by Mohamed Ali
                 CURFEW by Sherif El Bendari
                 REVOLUTION COOKIES by Khaled Marei
                 #TAHRIR 2/2 by Mariam Abou Ouf
                WINDOW by Ahmad Abdallah
                INTERIOR/EXTERIOR by Yousry Nasrallah
                ASHRAF SEBERTO by Ahmad Alaa
Country: Egypt

Synopsis: A group of ten directors, twenty or so actors, six writers, eight directors of photography, eight sound engineers, five set designers, three costume designers, seven editors, three post-production companies, and about ten technicians have agreed to act fast and shoot, with no budget and on a voluntary basis, ten short films about the January 25 revolution in Egypt. Ten stories they have experienced, heard or imagined. –Official site

Review: The birth and the death of a revolution are in a preordained pattern. The trivial irritations that spur the people into action, the tipping point that upsets the ship, the ecstasy that follows and finally, the realization that despots and leaders are the same species. Each of these ten tales tells the same story, through different eyes.

Each film is perfect in itself. They all echo the sentiments that ran through Egypt for those 18 days which lead to the fall of Hosney Mubarak. The slogan “The people who want to bring down the regime (Ash-shaʻb yurīd isqā al-nidhām) “is heard throughout all the films, as it was heard allover Tunis, Bahrain, Jordan, Dera... This captures the spirit of Arab Spring.

The pace and energy of the film is surpassed only by the mastery of each director over their individual films. There was not one single moment where I could take my eyes off the screen. The rapid flow of frames, the rich content, the colours, and the ambience, all kept me glued to my seat. This was the first film that I watched in IFFK 2012. I was glad that, for this film, I was in the company of another person who refused to take their eyes off the screen!

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