Magazine article New Internationalist

[Closed Doors]

Magazine article New Internationalist

[Closed Doors]

Article excerpt

* * * * = VERY GOOD

(Al Abwab Al Moghlaka) directed by Atef Hetata

Mohamed is 13 and wants to be a pilot. Supported only by his divorced mother, Fatma, who works as a cleaner, and struggling at his Cairo school, his prospects aren't good. When his teacher bars him, ostensibly for watching girls outside the class, Mohamed's ordered life starts to unravel. He's pulled between claustrophobic home life, the comradeship, intellectual securities - and chauvinist politics - of a local mosque and, with a truanting school friend, the excitement and seeming easy pickings of life on the streets.

Closed Doors is a coming-of-age drama that deals subtly with social issues - poverty, privilege, religiously sanctioned sexual chauvinism, endemic corruption. There's fine ensemble acting weaving the relationships between Mohamed and the people around him, and although his story is at its centre, it easily and unobtrusively reveals their life options too. …

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