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In the Last Days of the City

Tamer El Said
Akher ayam el madina
Egypt, Germany, UK, United Arab Emirates 2016 / 118’
Frantz Julieta

You said: "I'll go to another country, go to another shore, find another city better than this one. Whatever I try to do is fated to turn out wrong and my heart lies buried as though it were something dead," wrote Alexandrian poet, Constantine P. Cavafy. Khalid, a 35-year-old director, is working on a film that is supposed to capture the spirit of his home town of Cairo, as the old order crumbles under foot. A eulogy-like feeling accompanies his thoughts about the city and a premonition of the end permeates all he does. Khalid has to leave his downtown flat, his dear ones are slowly departing, and a longing for an unfulfilled love keeps him awake at night. While his film editor laments, the director discusses the scars a city can inflict and reviews his recordings to find an element that might bring together the images, memories and impressionistic episodes. Similar doubts must have accompanied Tamer El Said, whose 2007 debut distilled 250 hours of material into a two-hour mosaic-like image of Cairo before the revolution, a city under a layer of sand-colored dust, filled with movement and clamor like a sea, a city that is at once rebellious and traditional. This city will always pursue you.

Agnieszka Szeffel


Berlin IFF 2016 - Caligari Film Award; BAFICI 2016 - Best Director (International Competition)

Tamer El Said

Egyptian filmmaker, writer and producer Tamer El Said lives and works in Cairo. He studied Film Directing at the High Institute of Cinema, graduating in 1998 with Honourable Mention, and received his Diploma in 2002. He has worked as 1st AD on some of Egypt’s bigger feature films, directed commercials, taught and worked as a producer for a number of production companies. He has directed numerous award winning shorts and documentaries. Work on his first feature, In the Last Days of the City, started in 2008. The film was shot in Cairo, Alexandria, Beirut, Baghdad and Berlin and brings together many upcoming talents from the Arab world. In 2007 he founded his own company Zero Production, an independent production company in Cairo. Zero Production supports independent filmmakers in Cairo and the region. El Said is currently in the process of setting up, with Khalid Abdalla and others, Cimatheque, an alternative film centre that will offer services and space to help develop and incubate the independent film movement in Cairo.

Selected filmography

2016 Ostatnie dni miasta / Akher ayam el madina / In the Last Days of the City

Cast & Crew

director Tamer El Said
screenplay Tamer El Said, Rasha Salti
cinematography Bassem Fayad
editing Mohamed Abdel Gawad, Vartan Avakian, Barbara Bossuet
music Amélie Legrand, Victor Moïse
cast Khalid Abdalla, Laila Samy, Hanan Youssef
producer Tamer El Said, Khalid Abdalla, Michel Balagué, Marcin Malaszczak, Cat Villiers
production Zero Production, Sunny Land Film, Mengamuk Films [at], Autonomous
sales Still Moving
Polish distributor Stowarzyszenie Nowe Horyzonty
language Arabic
colouration colour