Arack El-Balah (1998)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Political Drama  |   Run Time - 111 min.  |   Countries - Egypt , United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Bhob Stewart

Radwan el-Kashef, a former assistant to Youssef Chahine, wrote and directed this Egyptian drama that begins with a man approaching an abandoned fort in a dusty region of southern Egypt. He's greeted by an elderly woman who tells the tale of the deserted village: A convoy of masked bikers arrived one day, promising lives of luxury, and the men in the community left. Young Ahmed stayed for a sexual relationship with his cousin Salma (Sherihan), and the unmarried couple had a child. Frustrated by their failures in the outside world, the villagers returned to find their traditional values out of touch with the new way of life in the community -- a symbolic parallel with mass Egyptian emigration during the '70s. The film's original title translates as "The Sweat of the Palm Trees." Shown in competition at the 1998 Locarno Film Festival.



cousin, life-changes, pregnancy, sex