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May 3, 2018 @ 7:45 pm - 10:45 pm
Clash – Presented by Talkies Community Cinema
This prize-winning drama about sectarian violence in Egypt teems with death and destruction and is, therefore, bang up to date (after last week’s church bombings, President Sisi is about to declare a state of emergency). It’s a tiny movie but it feels like a big deal.
It’s 2013, and the Muslim Brotherhood’s government has just been removed. Though the film is almost entirely set within a paddy wagon, the mood is wonderfully cinematic. That’s because we can see out of the truck windows. Thanks to peerless camera-work, lighting and sound design, these outside spaces are utterly convincing (at night they’re even beautiful, marking the spot where boot camps and riots meet raves). It’s also because the characters (in terms of their personalities) make so many surprising yet plausible leaps.
As various pro-army demonstrators and American-educated journalists get thrown together with Muslim Brotherhood supporters, the air becomes thick with tension.
Playfully conscientious, director Mohamed Diab won’t let us pick sides. Many of the Muslim Brotherhood characters are fussy and rigid, but the individuals who make our hearts beat hardest — a chubby, wannabe actor and a devout teenage girl — belong on that side of the fence. The cast are mostly non-professional. These amateurs barely get to stretch their legs. Suffice to say, they don’t put a foot wrong.