Sunday, August 14, 2011

Scheherazade, Tell Me a Story (2009)

From 1001 Nights

Scheherazade, Tell Me a Story (2009) is a film from Egypt featuring a contemporary Egyptian retelling of some (it seems!) aspects of the Nights.

NYT review:

"A TV Host Seeks Fluff, but Real Life Intrudes
Published: August 11, 2011

Resetting “The Arabian Nights” in modern-day Cairo, “Scheherazade, Tell Me a Story” presents an environment of oppressive politics and repressed women.

There’s nothing stifling, however, about Wahid Hamed’s razor-sharp screenplay or Yousry Nasrallah’s exuberant direction. Repurposing the soapy structure and gaudy style of Egyptian melodrama, both men cleverly expose a society hobbled by fear of female autonomy. Central to the story is Hebba (Mona Zakki), a popular talk-show host whose preening new husband, Karim (Hassan El Raddad), wants her to abandon the political criticism she favors until he wins a coveted promotion at his state-run job.

To please him Hebba switches to what she believes will be fluff pieces on the lives of regular women. Her strategy backfires (in a canny reversal of the Scheherazade fable) when each successive real-life account evolves into an ever-more-horrifying struggle against legally sanctioned male entitlement. In the Arab world even love, it seems, is political."

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