Previously at the ICA - Films

Microphone, Dir Ahmad Abdala Egypt, 2010

Microphone + Intro by Issandr El Amrani

25 Sep 2011

In his second feature, Ahmad Abdala takes us to the cultural underbelly of Alexandria, a centre of cultural production for two millennia. In what now seems to be a prophetic script, he examines the changing cultures of Egypt, through Khaled, who returns from the USA to his mother's funeral. It is too late to mend his other relationships – his father is now too remote for him to reach, and his old love is herself preparing to emigrate, the relationship broken after years of his living abroad. In a contemplative mood, he rediscovers Alexandria – now a changed city: hip-hop singers performing on sidewalks, female rock musicians on rooftops, skateboarders cruising the city, graffiti artists working in the dead of night and adorning the walls with shocking images. This discovered reality changes Khaled’s life – he is now intermingling with the new youth movement for change in Egypt. All is about to change.

As the film was released, the changes were indeed underway, In Cairo, Alexandria, and in many other cities and towns across Egypt, in reaction to events in Tunisia, but also as a result of longstanding developments in Egypt itself.

Introduced by Issandr El Amrani, a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest running blog in the region, The Arabist.

Dir Ahmad Abdala Egypt, 2010, 120 mins


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