Al-tauq wal-iswira (1987)

Run Time - 116 min.  |   Countries - Egypt  |  
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Synopsis by Clarke Fountain

In this tragedy, set in an Egyptian village beginning in the 1930s and ending in the 1950s, a woman married to an inadequate husband somehow gives birth to a daughter as well as a son, who, after her husband dies, serves as the family patriarch and the women's protector. However, to support the family the boy takes work in the Sudan, and during that time the daughter marries a blacksmith who happens to be impotent. In order to assure her daughter's future, the mother resorts to "magic" so that she can become pregnant. Unfortunately, the girl dies painfully during childbirth, as the primitive medical treatments for difficult childbirth she has endured weaken her too much. When the granddaughter grows up, she too becomes involved in a situation deriving from the sexual insecurities of her menfolk and comes to a tragic end.