"In the process of making the film, I came to understand many things. Like why I failed to love someone. Or why someone failed to love me. Or why I was abandoned. Or why I'm longing for these smells or these places or these people." Tamer El Said (Director)
Let's say it's the last days of the city you belong to. It's dying. And you're watching.
This is a film about loss, the painful anticipation of loss, and the feeling of starting to miss something even before losing it. Khalid is a filmmaker who's looking for a new place to live in Cairo but the choices are grim. He is also looking for a way to wrap his documentary; he keeps shooting and editing, but the materials somehow won't come together. Meanwhile, his mom is dying, and his lover is about to leave the city. In the backdrop are strikes, Islamist marches, growing fundamentalism and chaos. Shot in 2009, this debut feature is fiction with an unsettling non-fiction feeling: Cairo is the main character, the weight and sadness of its imminent fall feel utterly real. Some say it'll best be appreciated by those who know the city. But if you've ever felt that you belong to a city, and that leaving may be the only way to preserve that feeling, then the sounds, moments, faces, crowds, emotions and political atmosphere of this film will speak to you and break your heart.
2016 BERLIN, LONDON, CHICAGO, CPH PIX
Egyptian director El Said studied Journalism at Cairo University and Film Directing at the High Institute of Cinema. Before making his own films, he worked in the commercial film industry and in advertising. On a Monday (2005), a short he wrote and directed, marked El Said as a filmmaker to look out for. In The Last Days Of The City (2016) is his first feature.