Tips from the culture desk: Important films, fun music and tattoos
Courtesy: Cairo Tattoo Convention

It would be great to get non-blockbuster Arab films screening in Egypt all year round, but right now we’re lucky to have a one-off free screening at Cairo’s Contemporary Image Collective and Zawya’s pre-Panorama month of one Arab film per week. Also in Cairo, there’s a premiere of a short documentary set in Colombia, a couple of concerts by The Egyptian Project, and Cairo’s second tattoo convention.

Regional films! – all week in Cairo

These three films were all made in 2014, and are all in Arabic with English subtitles.

On Sunday at 7 pm the Contemporary Image Collective (CIC) will screen Lebanese filmmaker and drama therapist Zeina Daccache’s documentary Scheherazade’s Diary, followed by a discussion with filmmaker Aida El Kashef, as part of its current prison-themed programming. Filmed during and after a 10-month drama therapy project Daccache, set up in 2012 in Baabda Prison near Beirut, it follows women inmates who through theatre challenge societal oppression against women.

Eyes of a Thief, playing through Tuesday at Zawya, is a controversial Palestinian drama by Najwa Najjar that stars Egypt’s own Khaled Aboul Naga and Algerian singer Souad Massi. Her second feature after 2008’s Pomegranates and Myrrh, it’s based in part on an incident in the West Bank town of Silwad in 2002.

Young Egyptian filmmaker Nadine Saleb’s award-winning first documentary Um Ghayeb, which starts Wednesday at Zawya, goes to the rural south of Egypt to take to women who can’t have children, and becomes a film being about how we give our lives meaning and find happiness. Music by Rami Adadir.

CIC, 22 Abdel Khalek Tharwat Street, 5th floor, downtown Cairo. Zawya, screenings at  1, 3, 5, 7.30 and 10 pm, tickets LE20.

Casa Margaritas screening – Sunday

Room hosts the first public screening of Casa Margaritas (2014), a documentary by French/American Cairo-based filmmaker Raphaelle Ayach, who will give a talk afterwards. The film follows a family of coffee pickers in Quindio at their homes and in the fields, emphasizing their perspectives on their lives, work and connection with her as a filmmaker. Ayach’s steady approach balances hardships with hope, through the stories and shots she chooses to present. The film is 94 minutes long, in Spanish with English subitles. Ayach will also screen a trailer for the film she’s currently making, which follows the youngest man to walk around the world.

November 1, 8 pm at Room Art Space and Cafe, 10 Etehad al-Mohameyyeen Street, Garden City, Cairo. Tickets LE10.

Two concerts by The Egyptian Project – Saturday + Thursday

The Egyptian Project plays two concerts of their fun electronic folk in Cairo this week — the first on Saturday at Geneina Theater, in collaboration with the Darb Ahmar Arts School students, and the second on Thursday at Alrab3. The three-year-old French-Egyptian collaborative project combines Sufi chanting, traditional folk instruments and electronic interludes. Metwaly Salama plays rababa and violin, Ragab Sadek and Anthony Bondeau are on percussion, Radwan Ehab plays oud, Sayed Imam sings and Jérôme Ettinger mans the electronics. The latter two also write all the songs.

October 31, 8 pm at Geneina Theater, Al-Azhar Park. Tickets, LE50, can be purchased in advance by calling 16826. On November 5, two back-to-back concerts start at 7 pm at Alrab3 on Moez Street, next to Al-Aqmar Mosque, old Cairo. Tickets from at Alrab3, also LE50.

Cairo Tattoo Convention – Friday + Saturday

Egypt’s ancient tattooing culture has been joined by a very different hip young international tattoo trend in the last few years, and the Cairo Tattoo Convention is a natural byproduct of the phenomenon. Whether you approve of the convention or not probably depends on whether your taste in tattoos coincides with the artists and peircers who responded to the open call sent out by Venezuelan tattoo artist Orne Gil, convention founder and owner of Nowhere Land Tattoo Studio. Their portfolios can be checked out here, and you contact them directly to make an appointment and settle a price. The location is yet to be announced, so keep an eye on the convention’s Facebook page.

November 5 and 6, 3 pm till midnight. For tickets (One day LE150, two days LE250, or at the door one day LE200, two days LE400) call 01069545736 or email [email protected]  


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