Egyptian film on revolution fallout to premiere in Toronto

Ahram Online, Thursday 29 Aug 2013

Director Ahmed Abdalla's portrayal of the Arab Spring's fallout premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival in September

 Still from the film "Rags and Tatters" by Ahmad Abdallah
Still from "Rags and Tatters" by Ahmad Abdallah. (Photo: TIFF)

Directed by prominent Egyptian director Ahmed Abdalla, 'Rags and Tatters' will make its debut at this year's Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

The film portrays the fallout from the Arab Spring by following a nameless fugitive (Asser Yasin) desperately seeking shelter after breaking out of prison in the early days on the January 2011 uprising.

Abdalla was born in Cairo, and studied music before turning to editing films and documentaries. His features include 'Heliopolis' (2009), 'Microphone' (2010), '18 Days' (2011), and 'Rags and Tatters' (2013).

'Microphone', which screened at TIFF in 2010, and was released in Cairo cinemas in the same week as the January 25 uprising, depicted the struggles, frustrations, and creative energy of Egypt's youth, who would eventually launch the revolution. 

'Rags and Tatters' narrates "the stories of those who were cast aside from the revolution's sweep," writes programmer for TIFF's African and Middle Eastern Cinema, Rasha Salti.

"With sparse dialogue, contemplative long takes, and nameless characters, Abdalla weaves documentary vignettes with Sufi chants and poetry in a hand-held style inspired by the amateur footage that flooded the media tent in Tahrir Square where the filmmaker volunteered during the eighteen days of the insurgency in 2011," says Salti.

TIFF is a leading public film festival, annually screening more than 300 films from over 60 countries. Toronto's festival, which typically takes place in September, seeks to showcase a diversity of films, from Hollywood pictures to significant international projects along with homegrown productions.

'Rags and Tatters' will be screened on 9 September, 10 September, and 13 September in Toronto. More details here.

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