Film Archive

Jahr

Crop

Documentary Film
Egypt
2013
47 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Johanna Domke
Johanna Domke, Marouan Omara
Melanie Brugger
Johanna Domke, Emad Maher
Johanna Domke, Marouan Omara
Bilgehan Özis
Everyone deserves their own image, that’s the gist of an old Egyptian pop song. In reality there used to be only one official image along the Nile for a long time: that of a strong and powerful Egypt, embodied by its rulers. The majority of the population had no place in it. The young revolution was a revolution of images, too: the people conquered the right to be represented with their digital cameras and mobile phones, and reached the world. But how representative are those new images, one wonders in view of the more than uncertain current situation. This film takes a step back to look behind the structures of the old power. Tableau-like shots on an insider’s tour of the apparatus of power: the oldest and most important national daily, Al-Ahram, in which official Egypt reproduced itself since Nasser’s day. Starting with the conference rooms under the roof down to the basement garages where the papers are bundled for delivery, we meet a multitude of employees doing their various jobs, while a narrator’s voice, an intersubjective surrogate of interviews with photo journalists, recites a first-hand account, as it were, of Egyptian media history. The strict division between the visual and audio levels makes us look more closely and raises questions: for whom will this apparatus work in the future?

Lars Meyer

Waves

Documentary Film
Egypt
2013
71 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ahmed Nour
Ahmed Nour
Markus Aust
Ahmed Fathy
Simon El Habre, Meriem Amrioui
Chadi Abo, Yasmin Finri
Ahmed Nour
Emile Aouad
Ahmed Nour’s first feature-length film is a melancholy and visually powerful investigation of the kidnapped 2011 revolution. What is left of the dreams so many died for? The rebellion began in Suez, his hometown, and he returns to Suez to come to his own personal conclusions about his Arab Spring. At the same time he describes the mental state of Egypt’s so-called “revolution generation”, who are tired and full of scepticism, facing an uncertain future.
The five chapters/waves, each in its own aesthetics – animation, archive and documentary material, sound – deal with stages in the life of the director resp. his town. The combination of personal memories and historical milestones not only serves to find personal certainty in times of doubt but also helps to recover the possibility of a better future from a disappointing present. Suez was a front-line town in the war against Israel, then an occupied town, then the “flame of the revolution” against the dictatorship. But what has changed for the people? Not much, if you believe the director. The infrastructure is crumbling, the drinking water is polluted, there are no jobs, rumours of foreign spies are making the rounds, and old alliances are falling apart. So who is the enemy today? To which his old mentor replies: “The enemy is within you.”
Matthias Heeder