It has never been a concern of mine to search for a Canadian movie, I don’t even know they had a cinema industry, but someday a friend of mine was walking in down town and saw the film being shot. He knew it’s an international movie filmed in Egypt but he never got to know the name, until that day when he saw the same scene he attended in a youtube video titled “The Making of Cairo Time”.
The movie is a story of a Juliette (Patricia Clarkson) arriving to Egypt for a vacation with her husband who works for the UN. He was stuck in GAZA, so she had to explore Egypt with her husband’s old friend; Tarek (Alexander Siddig) , a single Egyptian retired policeman who owns a coffee shop. A brief, unexpected love affair catches their hearts. The film won Best Canadian Feature Film in Toronto International Film Festival. it’s rated as 6.7/10 movie on the IMDB… and personally I don’t care.
What made me really enthusiastic about this movie is that it takes place in Egypt. I was happy to see that the international cinema is starting to see our homeland as the new city of romance; specially that according to the movie director Ruba Nadda (who has Arab origins); she was influenced by her visit to Egypt when she was young with her mother. On the other hand side I had fears that the country shall be misused in such a movie; misused in the sense of stating trivia about Egypt or shooting places that won’t really represent Egypt. Unfortunately, I saw what I was afraid of during the 90 minutes runtime of the movie.Tarek as an Egyptian and Juliette being a writer in a magazine interested in social and woman-related topics, talked about religious ideas, Egyptian street kids, secret marriage and other topics that drew her attention (and actually draws everyone’s attention about Egypt). However there is a huge difference between making a movie to discuss those problems and just throwing words that can be understood in different ways about a culture in a romance movie. I can understand that a movie showing a country shall treat the good and the bad or else it would be a touristic documentary which of course is not the case, this is why I appreciated showing the slums & the Bedouin life together with Semiramis intercontinental view… The Pyramid, the Nile & the white desert together with highly crowded down town street with youth following pretty women, however, the involvement of the previously mentioned topics stopped me from enjoying the charm of the love story rising at some very well written and filmed scenes.
Personally, I would like to see more international movies taking place in Cairo and I’d rather see more Egyptian movies showing the world the beauty of our beloved country and explaining many aspects regarding our culture and ideas.
– The Academy awards nominated Patricia Clarkson’s performance was magnificent in playing the middle-aged lonely woman and Alexander Siddig convinced me very much playing an Arab.
– I was happy seeing Mona Hala an Egyptian Actress as Jamila.
– Om Kolthom’s Alf Leila w Leila was played through out the movie like 5 times 😀
– The wedding scene in Alexandria was very poor. It didn’t show what really a Wedding is in Egypt
– The way both Patricia and Alexander smoked water pipe was hilarious, seems it was their first time.
– Most of the extras were plucked off the street.
– Filmed in Cairo in about 25 days. Temperatures on average were 50 degrees Celsius.
– The making of Cairo Time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MK8uueeqqMI