ARIJ - Scent of Revolution| 1hr : 41mins
Director: Viola Shafik | Producer: Viola Shafik
Focus Years: 2014 | Country: Germany
Lingering between past and present the film's stories represent collective grief work about an incomplete revolution, a country in ruins and a nation in turmoil that has lost the ability to remember and connect things or in other words to create a meaningful history. Thus the film undertakes a journey into the past during the critical times of the Egyptian Revolution. It is hampered though by the filmmaker's inability to connect these different memories and tell a coherent story. For, as she finds out in a dialogue with one of her protagonists quoting the Cuban novel â€œMemories of Underdevelopmentâ€: it is the nation itself that has lost its ability to remember and connect things.
The film follows four very different characters and shifts locations without creating overt narrative connections between them:
In Upper Egypt, Safwat Samaan, a Coptic political activist and Francis Amin, a photo collector, try to reconstruct the story of their hometown Luxor that was destroyed during the rule of Mubarak due to state corruption and neo-liberal economic policies.
In Cairo, socialist writer Alaa El-Dib compares the 1952 and the January 2011 revolution and reflects on his own political disillusionment and marginalization.
His depression is antithetically juxtaposed with the enthusiasm of a young female Islamist, cyber-designer Awatef Mahmoud who is asked to create an avatar for a secluded friend who is not allowed to join the political protest on the streets.