Late prominent writer Ghassan Kanafani once wrote: “Death is not by any means about the deceased but about those alive.” Bab El-Wadaa (The Gate of Departure) is a film that takes up Kanafani’s aphorism, training a quiet cinematic eye upon those that remain in the wake of loss.
The film, which is written and directed by Egyptian director Karim Hanafy, will be shown at the Sudan Independent Film Festival (SIFF). It will then be shown in Cairo February 6th at the Creativity Center under the banner of the 42nd Egyptian Film Association Festival.
The Gate of Departure tells the story of a child who was raised by an overprotective mother that fears her son has begun to engage with the outer world after the death of his father. As the child grows up, he finds his grandmother attached to his father’s memory, constantly reminding herself of his death so as not to have any happy moment.
The child is caught between wanting to have a normal life away from the dark, sad and depressing atmosphere of his home and the guilt that beats down on him for leaving his mother alone after she spent her life raising him.
The film stars Salwa Khattab, Ahmed Magdy, Amaal Abdel Hady and Shams Labib and was produced by Khaial Art Production with support from the Ministry of Culture.
The film won the Silver Pyramid Award for best artistic contribution at the Cairo International Film Festival.