In the Last Days of the City (Akher ayam el madina)

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Downtown Cairo is an organism that still seems alive back in winter 2009/10, but is becoming increasingly alien even to those born there. Khalid is looking for a flat. He's a filmmaker. He looks at his images over and over again, as if he were waiting from them to produce some sort of meaning. The stories of his protagonists seem to come from somewhere inside him, he seeks points of reference in the outside world. The more he looks for them, the more they seem to disappear; not abruptly though, but in lengthy moments full of tenderness, such as when he bids farewell to his girlfriend who is leaving him, to his ill mother, to friends who have come to the city to premiere their films. For them, Cairo is a fixed reference point: One left Baghdad and is now living as a refugee in Berlin, another stayed there, a third lives in troubled Beirut. When they decide to send Khalid video material from their cities, it's not so much about helping him with his film than preserving something they still associate with Cairo via this bond, fully aware that it's already a fantasy. An almost noiseless film in which time is overtaken by history.

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