"I learnt to be a juggler…
I learnt to hold my tears when grieving…"- Massar Egbari
Hawi recreates real-life stories, addresses all Egyptians with their own language- nonetheless creates an air of contemplation and intrigue for its audience, making them feel part of the film, yet keeping the exquisite cinematic experience at its best.
Shot in Alexandria using non-professional actors and an unpaid crew, Ibrahim El Batout's third feature continues the Egyptian filmmaker's obsession in contemplating the details of daily Egyptian life. Inspired by the alternative cinema of Goddard, Vertov and Kiarostami, the story follows the journey of Youssef, a prisoner released after five years of solitary confinement in order to fetch a sheath of important documents, with a number of seemingly unconnected subplots, concerning a group of aspiring songwriters, a satellite TV executive searching for a show host, an elderly juggler leading his sickly old horse though the city streets, and so on. As a result, what might have been a straight-ahead story with predictable scenes, becomes an organic study of a city populated by disparate, often desperate, characters, a closer view of so-called reality and the lives of everyday people.