The 40th Cairo International Film Festival takes place in Cairo, Egypt, on November 20-29, 2018. For those who are planning to attend, here are five films that will be screening there that you need to know about.
The White Crow, Ralph Fiennes (UK, France)
The White Crow is the story of acclaimed ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev’s youth and dramatic defection to the west in June 1961. The film marks Oscar-nominated actor Ralph Fiennes’ latest directorial effort, and fans of his attending Cairo’s film festival this year will be happy to know that he will also be attending as a special guest.
Donbass, Sergei Loznitsa (Germany, Ukraine, France, Netherlands, Romania)
Sergei Loznitsa’s Donbass explored the conflict between Ukraine and the Russian-supported Donetsk People’s Republic of the mid-2010s via thirteen different segments. It was selected as the opening film of this year’s Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival and won the award for Best Director of the strand.
Euphoria, Valeria Golino (Italy)
Valeria Golino returns to the director’s chair with a melodrama about brothers with opposing personalities reconnecting through delicate life circumstances. The lukewarm reception received by Euphoria should not put anyone off: this was the same reception that followed her previous effort, Honey, now praised for the mature way with which it deals with the taboo subject of euthanasia.
Roma, Alfonso Cuarón (Mexico, USA)
Roma by Alfonso Cuarón appears to arguably be this year’s arthouse film event. Universally praised, this chronicle of a year in the life of a middle-class Mexican family in the early 1970s also picked up the coveted Golden Lion at this year’s Venice Film Festival and is considered a major Academy Award contender.
Good Morning, Bahij Hoeij (Lebanon, France)
Of all the new Arab cinema features showcased in Cairo, we’re particularly drawn by the simple premise of this Lebanese film, Good Morning. Shot over the course of 16 days, the film captures a general and an army doctor in their old age and their regular habit of playing crosswords together, as a TV broadcast the news, in a house overlooking a lively Beirut street.
5 Honorable Mentions
Ext. Night, Ahmad Abdalla El Sayed (Egypt, UAE); Manta Ray, Phuttiphong Arronpheng (Thailand, France, China); Alpha, The Right to Kill, Brillante Mendoza (Philippines); Blackkklansman, Spike Lee (USA); Border, Ali Abbasi (Sweden, Denmark).