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Egyptian Film Night in 2 Parts: "On the road to …. Downtown" (17h30) and "The Virgin, the Copts and Me" (19h00), SAT, 29 September 2012, from 17:30h, Goethe-Centre, Windhoek

On Saturday, 29 September 2012 from 17h30 AfricAvenir presents an Egyptian Film Night, Part I & II. featuring the Namibian Premieres of the two multiple award winning documentaries: "On the road to …. Downtown" (2011, 53 min, Egypt/Qatar) by Sherif El Bandary, which is set around Cairo's Tahrir Square and follows the lives and hopes of six different people connected in different ways to the city's downtown core; and "The Virgin, the Copts and Me" (2011, 82 min, Egypt/France/Qatar) by Namir Abdel Messeeh, the funny and moving investigation of a young filmmaker into the miraculous Virgin Mary apparitions in Egypt's Coptic Christian community. 

Attention: New venue! The screening series „African Perspectives“ has moved its venue. The series takes place at the Goethe-Centre Windhoek, Fidel Castro Str. 1-5, Windhoek. 

Egyptian Film Night Part I: Synopsis: On the Road to…. Downtown
Sherif El Bendary's "On the Road to Downtown," set around Cairo's Tahrir Square, follows the lives and hopes of six people connected in different ways to the city's downtown core.

Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BAWpoFI6lc  

Against the background of the Egyptian revolution and the current political state of affairs in Egypt as a common denominator, “On the road to …. Downtown” follows few individuals and their perspective on downtown Cairo, its history and current state of affairs. Across different generations, sexes, classes, languages, religions, following the parallel lines of these individuals, unconnected but yet linked by their own experience of downtown Cairo, the film pays homage to a district and it’s life. Like a mosaic, the stories fall into place and paint a picture of a diverse, rich, warm and providing district, with its complex inner dynamics.

Winner of the Jury Prize in the Category “Short Documentary” and the Al Jazeera film prize for best documentary at the 15th Ismailia International Film Festival 2012.

Egyptian Film Night Part II: Synopsis: The Virgin, the Copts and Me
It may seem strange to say, but this documentary about a young filmmaker's investigation of the miraculous Virgin Mary apparitions in Egypt's Coptic Christian community is very funny and ultimately very moving. First-time director Abdel Messeeh, a Egyptian-French and a professed secularist, begins his quest in Cairo, looking for witnesses to the famous 1968 sighting of a hovering Virgin in Zeitoun. He's hampered by the Coptic community's reluctance to talk - not to mention his absent producer's unwillingness to commit more funds. His traditionalist mother has expressly forbidden Abdel to film her relatives in rural Upper Egypt, but faced with cinematic failure he ignores her wishes. Blundering at first, he slowly gains the trust of his impoverished relatives and their fellow villagers and when his devoted mother takes over the purse strings, it finally seems as if he'll have a story to tell.

In its uniqueness the film “The Virgin, the Copts and Me” broadens the possibilities of making a creative documentary integrating fictionalized elements in a very entertaining but nevertheless wise and philosophical manner. The film reveals the basic realities of Egyptian society and the challenges of making films in a humorous way. The filmmaker has to be applauded for the well created and implemented script and for the sympathetic way it deals with the sensitive issues addressed in the film.

Winner Best Film in the Category “Long Documentary”, Winner Film Critics of Egypt Award, and Documentary Filmmakers of Egypt Prize at the 15th Ismailia International Film Festival 2012, and Best Documentary Prize at the Third Doha Tribeca Film Festival.

The film series African Perspectives is supported by the Franco Namibian Cultural Centre, WhatsOnWindhoek, the Goethe-Centre Windhoek and Arterial Network Namibia.

Egyptian Film Night Part I
On the road to …. Downtown
  
2011, 53 min, Egypt/Qatar
directed by Sherif El Bandary
Date: Sat. 29. September
Time: 17h30
Entrance: 30,- N$
Venue: Goethe-Centre, Auditorium
 
Egyptian Film Night II
The Virgin, the Copts and Me

2011, 82 min, Egypt/France/Qatar
directed by Namir Abdel Messeeh
Date: Sat. 29. September
Time: 19h00
Entrance: 30,- N$
Venue: Goethe-Centre, Auditorium

© Copyright AfricAvenir 2012

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