Cinema has always been a gate for exploring other cultures for people from different societies, especially when it comes to finding common ground between the East and West. Attempting to enrich Egyptian-German cultural ties, Goethe Film Week kicks off, taking films from Germany and Egypt to its audience.
Starting 2 May, the annual event screens films that tackle social issues in both societies. This includes revolutions, wars, migration, and political asylum, as well as the concept of family and women’s rights in both cultures.
The screenings are followed by open discussions with their makers, as some of the films will be screened for the first time.
The week’s opening film is “Egyptian Jeanne d’Arc,” a production by Egyptian director Iman Kamel. The documentary tackles the issue of the emancipation of women after the 25 January revolution. By focusing on female artists, the film sheds light on how women in Egypt fight oppression, injustice, and guilt. The hybrid film, which mixes elements of documentary and mystic stories, approaches this topic through a mixture of poetic narrations, dance, and mythology. The movie witnesses the participation of Egyptian singer Dina El Wedidi.
Audiences also get to see films that received several international awards, like “24 Wochen” (24 Weeks), a German production that discusses late-term abortion. The lead-character, pregnant in the sixth month, starts doubting her determination to have another child after learning that it will suffer from a serious heart defect and Down’s syndrome. Director Anne Zohra Berrached takes her audience to the mind of a pregnant woman that has to take a life or death decision for her unborn child.
“HausOhneDach” (House without a roof) is another film to be screened during the week. The film tells the story of three German brothers with Iraqi roots. The brothers want to achieve their mother’s life-long dream to be buried in the Kurdish area of Iraq alongside their father. On their way to what is supposed to be their hometown, they explore their identity, origin, and the meaning of the term homeland. The film was written and directed by young Kurdish director Soleen Yusef.
The week also screens comedy film “Toni Erdmann”, which received five awards at the 29th European Film Awards, including Best Film. It was nominated as Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards. The film tells the story of a father that tries to reconnect with his daughter, who is a busy, career-focused woman.
The week starts in Alexandria on 2 May. Audiences get to attend the screenings without booking any tickets. The week is also planned to be extended to Damanhur, Ismailia, and Minya in June, and Aswan in September.