Magazine article Screen International

The Mice Room

Magazine article Screen International

The Mice Room

Article excerpt

Dirs/scr: Ahmed Magdy Morsy, Hend Bakr, Mayye Zayed, Mohamad El-Hadidi, Mohamed Zedan, Nermeen Salem. Egypt-UAE. 2013. 85mins

An impressively made collaborative feature directed by six filmmmakers - Ahmed Magdy Morsy, Hend Bakr, Mayye Zayed, Mohamad El-Hadidi, Mohamed Zedan, Nermeen Salem - in Alexandria in Egypt, The Mice Room (Odet El Feran) rarely feels like a clash of styles, instead it impressively details six different people living their lives in the bustling city.

The stories do not interact, but have a link in that all of the lead characters share an underlying sense of concern about their home city.

A lack of star names, its rather freewheeling structure and a lack of a link between the sub-plots may hamper broad distribution, but this collaborative film - made on an almost zero budget, with cast and crew volunteers and with the directors all working as cinematographers or assistant directors on the their colleague's films - belies its small-scale origins, and hints at strong futures for its group of new, young, filmmakers.

The stories do not interact, but have a link in that all of the lead characters share an underlying sense of concern about their home city, which they seem to wander burdened by fears or confusion...some more than others.

Amr (Zeyad Salem) comes back to meet his father in his death bed, but is not sure how to show his true feelings; Moussa (Kamal Ismail) spends his day afraid of crossing a street until he finds amends with his side of the road, and Dahlia (Noura Saafan) on her wedding day, seems lost in worries about her off white marriage. …

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