This film tackles taboos with an honesty and subtlety seldom seen in contemporary Arab cinema. The female body becomes the nexus of cultural debates raging in Cairo, whether it is being celebrated in dance or poetry, or mutilated through genital excision. That the filmmaker is a woman, a rarity in the Middle East, makes it even more extraordinary. Writer/director Jocelyne Saab deftly evokes the flavor of Egypt, where crowded bazaars pulse with the rhythms of tabla (drum) and heated political argument alike. Saab sets rich imagery–by turns dreamy and earthy, but always evocative–to an intoxicating soundtrack (featuring Mounir and Natacha Atlas) which, like Egypt, mixes up old and new, East and West, to produce a sexy, combustible ride.
Miranda Yousef, Sundance Festival catalogue, United States

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ThemesEN Women Desire Pleasure Dance Music Politics