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Egyptian film Basra english poster

Basra is a brand new film by Egyptian director Ahmed Rashwan. The film’s name means snap. “basra” is the word Egyptians use in card games when two players have the same card. It’s also used in every day life when two people think the same thing or say the same word etc.

Events in the city of Basra and the beginning of the Iraq war provide the backdrop to this romantic and social realist film. This how the director describes the film in his own words.

100% Alive – مية في المية حي

Cairo, March 17, 2003. The US- UK strike against Iraq is imminent. How can an Egyptian photographer, in his thirties, surpass his own disappointments & fears?
How can he find an answer to the existential questions related to life, death, sex and logic amidst his awareness of all the absurdity around him? Can this artist remain alive (breathing, thinking, and photographing) surviving the oppressive atmosphere? Or is he going to collapse with the fall of Baghdad?

القاهرة في 17 مارس 2003 .. الحرب الأمريكية / البريطانية ضد العراق على الأبواب .. كيف يستطيع مصور مصري تجاوز الثلاثين من عمره أن يتجاوز إحباطاته و مخاوفه ؟
كيف يجد الإجابة عن المصيرية المتعلقة بالحياة و الموت و الجنس و المنطق وسط إحساسه بعبث ما يجري حوله ؟ ، هل يستطيع هذا الفنان الشاب أن يظل حيا (يتنفس / يفكر / يصور ) متجاوزا الجو العام الخانق ؟ أم أنه سيسقط مع تهاوي الأقنعة وسقوط بغداد ؟

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(100% Alive) is a true test that I embark upon boldly and enthusiastically on different levels: a test to the importance of independent Cinema to break free from those who treat Cinema as a commodity, the importance of cinema as a medium to communicate with the mind and tackle bold ideas and sensitive matters even in closed society, as well as a personal challenge that I face along with the protagonist about the importance of continuing to live life through art in the face of Death

Ahmed Rashwan

أن ( 100 % حي) ليس فقط بمثابة فيلم أوقعه بأسمي كمؤلف و مخرج ، و لكنه اختبار حقيقي أخوضه بجرأة و حماس على مستويات عدة .. اختبار لأهمية السينما المستقلة في التحرر من تجار السينما ، و أهمية السينما كوسيلة لمخاطبة العقل و مناقشة الأفكار الجريئة و الأسئلة الحساسة حتى في المجتمعات المغلقة ، و وتحدي شخصي أخوضه برفقة الشخصية الرئيسية في الفيلم عن أهمية استمرار الحياة بالفن في مواجهة الموت

أحمد رشوان

 

This is a truly independent film which could pave the way for more independent filmmakers in the Middle East. Basra, aka 100% Alive, will be released in the coming months and will hopefully get even more exposure at film festivals. Here’s hoping for a worldwide release and screenings.

UPDATE: Basra has been selected by the Valencia Film Festival, which begins 14/10/08 until 22/10/08.

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