Viola Shafik

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ARIJ - Scent of Revolution| 1hr : 41mins
Director: Viola Shafik | Producer:
Focus Years: | Country: Germany
Subject Tags: community, egypt, europe, germany, governance, human rights, oppression, politics, poverty
Quality Tags: Optimistic, Slow, Activating, Harmonizing
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 “Memories of Underdevelopment”: 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.

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Viola Shafik



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