Compelling Egyptian documentary following a gang of street girls in Cairo. Rather than wallow in their often agonising plight, director Tahani Rached celebrates their tenacity and spirit.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2007
This compelling, agonising documentary from Egypt follows a gang of street girls in Cairo.
“With its jaunty style, in keeping with the overpowering child-like energy of the girls themselves, this inspired document is not your typical sour examination of an ‘important subject’. Filmmaker Tahana Rached takes us straight into the grimy, off-street world of downtown Cairo where adolescent girls subsist: fending off gangs of predatory boys, dealing with intermittently appearing abusive fathers, and nourishing their own children, it’s a daily survival struggle. Most of all, they fear being ‘scarred and stored’, taken by gangs who rape them and then slice their faces and hold them prisoner in a shack. [Rached] does not wallow on their plight, rather she celebrates their tenacity and spirit. They are, after all, children, and she captures their play, laughs, dances and hi-jinks. It’s a marvelously effective approach, which not only pays tribute to their resilience but also ultimately underscores the most heart-wrenching fact – they are kids.” — Duane Byrge, Hollywood Reporter