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    “Ehki Ya Shahrazad” (Tell a Story Shahrazad)..a Political explanation of sex, and women oppression


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    “Ehki Ya Shahrazad” (Tell a Story Shahrazad)..a Political explanation of sex, and women oppression Empty “Ehki Ya Shahrazad” (Tell a Story Shahrazad)..a Political explanation of sex, and women oppression

    Post by Nancy

    “Ehki Ya Shahrazad” (Tell a Story Shahrazad)..a Political explanation of sex, and women oppression Shahrazad185x100

    In their first collaboration, it seems that Wahid Hamed and Youssry Nasralla have won the bet and presented a great piece of work that will always live in the history of the Egyptian cinema which in the movie “Ehki Ya Shahrazad” (Tell a story Shahrazad) written by Hamed and directed by Nasralla; it also appears that the audience is the greatest winner in this situation as it watched one of this year’s most important, most audacious, and most controversial movies.

    At first, the audience might get surprised of the movie’s slow tempo which is not normally Wahid Hamed’s style as in his other works like “Ta’er Al-Layl Al-Hazin” (The Sad Bird of the Night) or “Al-Wa’ad” (The Promise), but it’s Nasralla’s signature who sought the creation of an overall atmosphere, and a clear distance in order for us to observe the contradictions in the Men/Women relationships, and to think more profoundly about larger contradictions on the level of the whole society, especially in this ambiguous political state.

    The whole scenario was visually redefined by an educated point of view that sees many levels for a single scene, such as that combining the TV presenter “Heba Younes” –portrayed by Mona Zaki- and behind her on the monitor pictures of the ladies guests who confirm that men nowadays are in fact living in the 21st century but with a medieval mentality.

    We have four female models who share the ability to take hard decisions in the right time, and who also have the capacity to talk about what they have been through from physical and psychological violations; they are the granddaughters of Shahrazad, but with more will to take rebellious actions:

    The TV presenter “Heba Younes” who is physically submissive to her opportunistic journalist husband “Karim” –portrayed by Hassan Al-Raddad-with whom she will engage in a fierce physical battle by the end, and despite all the bruises and injuries, she will come out to speak for herself.

    “Tahany” –portrayed by Sawsan Badr- prefers to stay single rather than marrying a man “Ahmed Fadl Allah” –portrayed by Hussein Al-Imam- who would want to take her back to the harem era, and although she’s a poor woman who reopened her father’s store after his death along with her sisters, she will kill “Saeed” the worker in the store who used the sexually and emotionally desperate ruthlessly.

    “Nahed” the high class successful dentist, will effectively make it in divorcing her impostor minister husband “Adham” –portrayed by Mahmoud Hemeida- not only that, but she will find the guts to tell her story in details in front of the cameras.

    Men on the other hand are selfish, and know nothing about manhood but the sexual aspect, and there’s an indirect line explaining why they’re oppressing women as they in their turn are already oppressed one way or another: the journalist “Karim” is consumed by his ambitions towards higher positions; “Saeed” the young worker is torn by his feeling of inferiority in front of his women employers; “Ahmed” who seems to be in slavery of the old and rusty traditions; and “Adham” who’s fascinated by money as well as power.

    The most important addition made by Wahid Hamed to the tragic relationship between a man and a woman, is relating it to a general ambiance, in which the ability of taking an action is only limited to a certain number of individuals while many others are on the audience seats, and undoubtedly Hamed has presented here a political explanation of the women’s sufferance in the masculine authoritarian eastern communities, and it’s certainly a viewpoint worthy of thinking and observing.

    All the movie’s elements are extremely professional especially the acting one: Mona Zaki presented a new role, as she appeared physically numb towards her husband played by the talented Hassan Al-Raddad –who will be having a successful acting career- and she also expressed very well the feelings of rebellion in the powerful finale scene, Dina Nadim’s costumes with their bright colors also helped her appear like a Barbie doll, until she transformed into a woman who’s fully aware of her rights in the final moment of enlightenment.

    What’s also astonishing is Sawsan Badr’s performance, as she portrayed “Tahany”, a very hard character to play, and had total control of her expressions, presenting various emotions and faces for a different woman, MahmoudHemeida had a unique character which he mastered, also youssry Nasralla has featured some wonderful new comers who will become really big like Rehab Al-Gamal, Mohamed Ramadan, Sanaa Akroud, Nahed Al-Sebaie, and Nesrine Amin.

    The director has used the close ups a lot revealing facial expressions and emotions, we should also praise Mohamed Atteya set designing that disclose the locations’ richness versus emotional emptiness and soul voids; Samir Bahran’s amazing lighting design, reflecting the light on “Karim’s” face who’s starving for fame in the scene where he sits with “Heba” at a casino, and also the light reflections over the water in the scene where the 3 girls get into the water with their clothes on.

    One might feel a little jaded with the lengths of some stories that required the intervention of the editor MonaRabie, especially in the story of ”Saeed” and the 3 girls, but the whole structure that transmits “Shahrazad” as a 21st century TV presenter that depends on extracting a tale out of the other such as in “Alf Leila w Leila” (A thousand and One Nights), and the parallel visual structure that leaves inside you a powerful feeling of desiring to rebel and to kill silence, all of that makes “Ehki Ya Shahrazad” (Tell a Story Shahrazad) an unforgettable movie, artistic and content wise.

    Source: MSN Arabia.com
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