Egyptian filmmaker Khaled El-Hagar's Sins of the Flesh to screen in Vancouver

Amina Abdel-Halim, Wednesday 27 Jul 2016

The 2016 Vancouver International Film Festival will kick off on 29 September

Sins of the Flesh
(Photo: fragment from the poster)

Egyptian director Khaled El-Hagar announced on his Facebook page that Haram El-Gasad (Sins of the Flesh) has been selected for a screening at the 2016 Vancouver International Film Festival which will take place between 29 September and 14 October.

Haram El-Gasad is the latest film written and directed by Khaled El-Hagar and stars Nahed El-Sebai, Ahmad Abdallah Mahmoud, Zaki Fateen Abdel Wahab, Mahmoud El-Beezawi, and Salwa Mohamed Ali.

The film, described on its official website as "a tragic story of betrayal, oppression and murder", explores the events of the 25 January revolution in an unconventional way.

Four characters live on a remote farm, away from the actual crises, and no actual realtime images of the revolution are shown. However, the events taking place at the farm reflect what is happening in the country.

The main character, Fatma, represents the struggle of Egyptians. She is torn between tradition, represented by her husband Hassan, the guardian of the farm, a need for rebellion and renewal represented by her lover Ali, Hassan's cousin, who escaped from prison, and the corruption and greed of the rich elite, symbolised by the owner of the farm, Mourad.

Due to its explicit content, the film was only shown in cinemas to audiences over 18 years old, and certain changes were made to the film scenario.

An award winning director, Khaled El-Hagar often uses his work to tackle sensitive subjects and break taboos regarding subjects like sex or politics. Some of his well-known works include Room to Rent, Hob El-Banat (Girls' Love) and El-Shoq (Lust).

His films have already been screened at 37 festivals and received 27 national and international film awards, including the Prize of the City of Amiens in 1993 and three prizes at the Cairo International Film Festival in 2003, 2006 and 2010. El Shoq was also selected as the Egyptian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards, but it did not make the final shortlist

Created in 1982, the annual Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) is among the five largest film festivals in North America and screens films from 80 countries. The festival screens a wide variety of genres, offering one of the largest selections of East Asian films outside of that region.

VIFF is also one of the biggest showcases of Canadian film in the world and has a large and vibrant nonfiction program. The festival has awarded many prominent filmmakers from all around the world such as Cannes Palme d'Or winner Jacques Audiard and Oscar winner Lenny Abrahamson.

Two other Egyptian films have previously entered the Vancouver film festival: The Dream Of Sharazad (2014), a joint production between Egypt, France, Jordan, the Netherlands and South Africa, and independent filmmaker Ahmad Abdalla's Décor (2014).
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