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The generation that lost hope

Charity
Regissør: Mohamed Siam
(Egypt/Libanon/Tyskland/Frankrike/Norge/Danmark/Qatar)

Following his young protagonist for six years, the documentary Amal also paints a portrait of Egypt during a period marked by dramatic upheaval.

Mohamed Siam's movie Charity follows an Egyptian girl with the same name as the film for six years, during a period when both Amal and her country are in a constantly changing period of wrestling.

We are introduced to Amal as a fifteen year old in 2012. At this point, she is a tough "boy girl" dressed in hoodies, who have realized that it can be easier to be mistaken for being a boy among the young rebels in Egypt. She is in fierce opposition to police and government forces, and threatens her mother to break contact with her if she votes for the military candidate during the upcoming election.

Brutal treatment by the police. Amal's commitment and rage is not hard to understand. She is still heavily influenced by the brutal treatment she received from police during the protests at Tahrir Square in 2011, but also by the fact that her boyfriend was among the victims of the riots at the Port Said football stadium that year.

A few years ago, she also lost her father, without the film specifically addressing how he passed away. Dad's video footage of Amal's birthday celebrations through his childhood acts as a sort of chapter breakdown in the documentary – in addition to illustrating these sequences that he still holds a central position in her life.

Looked for a hooligan. Charity had the honor of opening the 30th edition of the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam (IDFA) in November. In April, the film, which is co-produced by the Norwegian company Barentsfilm and supported by Sørfond, will be shown at Arab Film Days in Oslo.

After the widespread optimism that came with the revolution, the film paints a picture of a young generation with few opportunities and little hope for the future. ”

When he met the audience in Amsterdam, the Egyptian director said that he originally looked for a male character among the country's football hooligans to make a film about – and through this he wanted to draw a picture of Egypt's growing up. . .

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Aleksander Huser
Huser is a regular film critic in Ny Tid.

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