On Wednesday, grieving Moroccan women take center stage as Cairo’s art house cinema Zawya screens Laila Marackchi’s “Rock The Casbah”.
The French-Moroccan drama, the filmmaker’s first score since 2005, premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival to glowing reviews.
Set in Tangiers, the film follows three women as they gather at home following the father’s death for three consecutive days. The result is a jumble of heartaches and joyous memories that push the sisters into long overdue confrontations.
“Rock the Casbah is at its most engaging when the well-cast three sisters are doing nothing more (or less) dramatic than comparing and contrasting their lives, often using language that shocks traditionalists of all ages in their orbit,” according to Variety’s Joe Leydon.
Veteran Egyptian actor Omar Sharif, whose brief appearances have been cleverly crafted by Marackchi, plays the role of the deceased father.
Meanwhile, Lebanese actress and director Nadine Labaki takes on the role of one of the elder sisters. Labaki rose to fame in 2007 when she acted in and directed the acclaimed film “Caramel.” Her second feature “Where Do We Go Now,” which shed a humorous yet sharp light on sectarian tension in Lebanon, was also widely celebrated.
Zawya, launched in March 2014, is run by Misr International Films, the film company founded by the famed Egyptian director Youssef Chahine. MIF says it hopes to expand Zawya to other neighbourhoods and governorates.
Since its inception, Zawya has screened films from Egypt's independent film movement as well as international selections that have garnered critical acclaim elsewhere but have never appeared in Egyptian cinemas.
Wednesday 20 August for one week at least (1.30pm, 3.30pm, 6.30pm, 9.30pm)
Odeon Cinema, 4 Abdel-Hamid Said Street, off Talaat Harb Street, Downtown Cairo