Synopsis by Mark Deming
Egyptian director Yousry Nasrallah and screenwriter Waheed Hamed joined forces for this provocative story of the nexus between sex, politics and culture in the modern-day Middle East. Hebba (Mona Zakki) is a host of a television talk show that specializes in digging into the corruption that permeates Egyptian politics. While the show is well regarded, its success has been causing problems for Hebba's husband Karim (Hassan El Raddad), who edits a newspaper controlled by the government. Karim's bosses have urged him to get Hebba to change the focus of her show or else they might pull the plug on his journal, and eventually Hebba agrees. Instead, Hebba presents a series of broadcasts in which women from several walks of life talk about how sex and gender roles have impacted their lives. Amany (Sawsan Badr) is a middle-aged woman who as a girl promised herself she would marry only for love and not out of security or convenience. Amany has stayed true to her pledge, even though it means she's still single, but she finds herself balancing her loneliness and sexual frustration against the desire of her latest suitor, Ahmed (Hussein El Imam), to let him control their relationship. Nahed (Sanaa Akroud) is a successful dentist who made it clear to her boyfriend Adham (Mahmoud Hemeida) that she wouldn't sleep with him until they were married. Adham respected her feelings, but once they were wed, Nahed watched his attitude towards her change drastically. And Safaa (Rihab El Gamal) is a convicted murderer who, after serving her time, takes control of a shop run by her late father with the help of her sisters (Nesrine Amin and Nahed El Sebai). The sisters find that while customers will give them their business, they need a male figurehead for many of their dealings, and the sisters debate the notion of one of them marrying Said (Mohamed Ramadan), a longtime family employee. However, Said has been romancing all three sisters, while swearing each of them to secrecy. Ehky Ya Schahrazad (aka Scheherazade, Tell Me a Story) was an official selection at the 2009 Venice International Film Festival.
Egypt, gender-roles, sex, sister, television-star