In a post revolution Cairo, after numerous failed trials to escape the status quo of her generation’s depression, Nour, a 29 young woman, secretly arranges fleeing her homeland. Hours before her departure, She embarks on a journey of struggle with a patriarchal society and a fight within to keep her hidden secret.
Original Title Al Kahera Berlin Year of production 2021 Length 17min Country Egypt, England Shooting Format Digital Aspect Ratio 16:9 Dialogue Arabic DirectorAhmed Abdelsalam Producer Joseph Adel Productions Underdog, Fauve Co-Productions Lizard Writer Ahmed Hosny Cinematographer Mostafa El-Kashef Editor Badr Dahi Art Directors Hashem Raafat, Bassel Ayman Sound Design and MixMoustafa Shaaban Costume Design Dahlia Meshrif Production Designer Shaimaa Magdy Original Music El-Waili Production Manager Mohamed Hassan Color Grading & Correction Ahmed El-Gendy Cast Mariam Al-Ferjani, Ibrahim El-Naggary, Nabil Nour El-Din
Director's Statement I grew up away from my parents as they decided, like most Egyptian parents in the 90s, to follow the most common dream at that time; traveling to the Gulf and working there. I still remember the day they left for Saudi, leaving me behind with my grandparents. It was the first time I experienced loss and separation. That feeling kept branching out until it made its way into my adulthood.
The dream of fleeing hasn’t changed from our parents’ generation to ours, yet, both the intentions and reasons did. In 2019, I was on house arrest recovering from surgery, my best friend came over to “visit” as she claimed. But that wasn’t her main intent. That day, she admitted to me her plans of fleeing Cairo forever with mixed feelings of fear and liberation. She made me promise to keep it between us. I recalled the same feeling I had when my parents left and within seconds, I was that lost 7-year-old boy again. That wasn’t even the first friend to leave, but she was definitely the closest. It made me think about things, about life, about the reasons why it feels like we’re cursed with a sense of never belonging. What is it? Is it the rollercoaster of events this generation had to witness? Is it the failed revolution? The expectations we had of changing the world, of making it a better one? The social repression? The tainted relationships? Or is it a generational trauma?
In my debut short film, I try to explore an answer to all these questions through a nuanced depiction of oppression where Nour fights her way out of her homeland, daring to liberate herself from social discrimination and codependent relationships. CAI - BER is an intimate portrait of my generation; a disillusioned generation yearning for a sense of belonging and a desperate hope to, someday, find home.