In his feature film debut director Ahmad Abdalla takes a critical look at present-day Egyptian society. Using intertwining stories, he skillfully sheds light on the small struggles of everyday life in Cairo, and on the discontent that seems to pervade one particular neighborhood of the city.

We follow the student Ibrahim as he researches the pre-revolutionary ethnic composition of the city, his research leading him to the once-luxurious neighborhood Heliopolis. Long ago built as a haven for rich foreigners, the years following the Revolution of 1952 have witnessed a flight of most of the European residents. Helipolis becomes a microcosm of Egyptian society, its residents caught between paralyzing structural dysfunction and a nostalgic longing for life pre-1952.

Filmed in a quasi-documentary style, "Heliopolis" was realized thanks to voluntary work by both cast and crew. A project well worth the effort, since the budgetary constraints are not noticeable in the film; on the contrary, Abdalla certainly proves his quality as a storyteller and director.
TOR ÖBERG

Heliopolis poster
Title
Heliopolis
Director
Ahmad Abdalla
Country
Egypt
Length
98 min
Festival
2009
Section
Open Zone
Language
Arabic
Subtitle
English
Production year
2009
Cast
Khaled abol Naga, Hanan Motaweh, Hany Ade
Producer
Sherif Mandour
Script
Ahmad Abdalla
Music
Amir Khalaf

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