Marina of the Zabbaleen (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

Marina of the Zabbaleen (2009)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Marina of the Zabbaleen Photos

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.
Art House & International , Documentary , Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Torch Films


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.

September 10, 2009
New York Times
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | September 12, 2009
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for Marina of the Zabbaleen

gorgeously shot on super 8 film, this movie raises many questions. what role does religion play in contemporary third world society? (not much different from its purpose during feudal times imho.) is there a call to action here, and if so, what is it? are the smiles on the faces of marina (living in absolutely abhorrent conditions) and others due to an enduring spirit of hope, or the cameras themselves? is filming the extraction of a child's tooth without anesthesia ethically sound? this movie is haunting, much more so than any hollywood horror flick. and certainly thought provoking. it has literally kept me up at night, hence writing this review at 6:14 am.

Seth Lachs
Seth Lachs

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