Friday, 2 August 2013


(Hala Lotfy; Egypt/ UAE)

Fascinating fiction feature debut from this Egyptian filmmaker. A full day is marked out in the life of a mother and daughter tending to their ailing husband/father, but it is the slow torpor of caregiving and the quiet pressures it exerts that breathes wonderful life to the pace, rhythm and texture of this film. In an ever-increasing world of 'slow cinema', Lotfy makes a deep and rich impression by allowing plenty of time for the characters to reveal their life, their world purely when glancing at another, or most crucially when lost in thought. 

Bold compositions, with remarkable interior shots set with angular crisp lines, and rich earthy tones - from sun-up to sepia-tinged sun-down, the film is bled into browns, greys, beige, murky white.

The final third of the film, while perhaps not as striking in visual tone to the earlier interior sequences in the home, is the most ensnaring part, as we see the daughter quietly undergoing a midnight revelation in private, moving from some kind of misguided selfishness to a deeper place of quiet repose, a place we can nearly surmise but not quite. We can read her thoughts, but can we really?

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