Marina of the Zabbaleen (2009)




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Movie Info

Director Engi Wassef finds hope in the squalor with this portrait of a young girl from the "Zabbaleen" (trash collectors and sorters who live on the outskirts of Cairo) who longs to escape her grim surroundings by attending school becoming a doctor. On the outskirts of Cairo exists a toxic shantytown where mountains of trash stand in filthy contrast to the nearby great pyramids. Here, the impoverished but industrious locals earn their living by bundling and reselling paper, and raising pigs amidst the rotting refuse. This is one of the most populous areas on the African continent, yet few of the youngsters raised here have ever received a proper education. Marina is a six year old girl whose mother earns a living by sorting paper, and who attends school daily in hopes of escaping her miasmic playground and becoming a doctor. While many of the children born in this environment will likely die here, Marina is determined to build a new life for both herself and her struggling family.


Critic Reviews for Marina of the Zabbaleen

All Critics (2) | Top Critics (1)

Filled with glancing light and happy faces, Marina of the Zabbaleen, fights hard to sweeten the misery of its surroundings.

Sep 10, 2009 | Rating: 3/5

The principal strength of Wassef's debut is its delicate, revealing look at Marina's life.

Sep 12, 2009 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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