Director: Mohamed Diab
Cast: Nelly Karim, Hany Adel, Tarek Abdel Aziz
Language: Arabic with English subtitles
Country of Origin: Egypt-France-Germany 2016 97 mins. (15)
Released by Arrow Films
Powerful, compelling and technically assured, Mohamed Diab's 'Clash' takes the audience into the heart of the violent clashes in Cairo in 2013. President Mohamed Morsi had been toppled by the Army and the Muslim Brotherhood took to the streets. It was a long way away from the euphoria of Tahrir Square, two years before and the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak.
Set entirely in a police paddy wagon, Mohamed Diab assembled a cross section of Egyptian society amongst whom are two journalists Adam (Hany Adel) and photographer Zein (El Sebaey) both working for Associated Press, Awad (Ahmed Abdel Hameed), a Christian Copt Policeman appalled by the brutality, an Imam and his veiled teenage daughter, Nagwa (Nelly Karim), a nurse, her husband Hossam (Tarek Abdel Aziz) and teenage son Fares (Ahmed Dash), rival factions caught up in the violence. Claustrophobic, tension riddled, it's a remarkable piece of cinema. Spot on cinematography (Ahmed Gabr), the hand held camera has a documentary feel but never ventures onto the streets. No sides are taken, the riots, sniper shootings, tear gas attacks and stonings are seen from the claustrophobic confines of the paddy wagon and a sense of injustice prevails. 'Clash' opened the 2016 Cannes Un Certain Regard Section
to critical acclaim.
Original, inventive, gripping, remarkable cinema.