DOHA: El Shouq (Lust) by Egyptian filmmaker Khaled El Hagar competing in the Arab narrative competition of the Doha Tribeca Film Festival, received a large number of audience yesterday during a press screening at the Katara.
‘Lust’ is based on a play called ‘The Old Lady’s Visit’ and is El Hagar’s sixth film.
Lensed months before the Arab Spring reached Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the 130 minute film in Arabic with English subtitles centres on a poor family in a down-and-out neighbourhood of Alexandria, focusing on the frustration of everyday life.
Leading the family is matriarch Um Shouq - Sawsan Badr, who passes her time reading fortunes in coffee grounds and communicating with the spirit world.
The film also portrays Um Shooq’s troubled past; she and her husband Abu Shouq, a cobbler and a drunk, seemed to have eloped as young lovers in Tanta, sacrificing Fatma’s relationship with her family in the process.
When the only son is stricken by kidney disease, Abu Shouq encourages his wife to go to her relatives to ask for money.
After making it to the front door, Fatma finds she cannot face them and flees to the train station, where she finds herself on a train to Cairo and begs on the street to pay for his dialysis. Fearsome and proud, she hides the source of her money from her family, eventually creating a rift too deep to be healed.
To showcase the strength and quality of Arab films produced throughout the Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) region in the past year, the Doha Film Institute (DFI) launched the feature films and documentaries that will compete in the third edition of DTFF’s Arab Film Competition.
Leading the five-member Narrative Film Competition Jury will be award-winning Syrian director Mohammed Malas, a filmmaking auteur widely recognised across the Arab World for his critical and socially engaging cinema.
Featuring eight world premieres, the competition, in its second year, has been expanded and split into two juried segments of narrative and documentary films, with a set of new awards up for grabs.
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