There is another Arab film festival happening in London in September (besides masafat). The one from Egypt is Mohamed Khan’s Before the Summer Crowd, which I never got to see and can not remember it raising a lot of discussion. Normally I wouldn’t have noticed it, except that Khan has just passed away. (Not just, actually it is almost a month now).
He was mourned by loads of more capable, loving people, and there is nothing really appropriate I can say. I saw him in person in the last Cairo Book fair, he is nice, and I am socially awkward, and there was a book signing, and that was it. I gave him an awkward half-smile, and a hello, and left.
Khan might be one of the very few who could make films in which Cairo is itself. He is also one of the very very few who like their female characters (I can think of now one else who genuinely like their female characters in this particular way, except Saramago). I guess one of the multiple legacies he leaves for a distant fan like me, (as opposed to my friends who were his friends) is that he loved Cairo and its people enough to tell faithful stories about both, about how they both mutually hurt each other, and about their making up and reconciling as well. Stories about awkward half-smiles.
This is a nice article (in Arabic) is speaks about four hidden lives of the city in his movies, one of which I have been promising to write about since ages, may be it is time to get down to it.