North Africa

Al asfour - The Sparrow (1972)
Youssef Chahine
Egypt
103′
The Sparrow fascinates with its parallel strands of action. The various ways of encountering a criminal trader, namely by a police officer and a journalist, are ultimately only traces that lead to the tip of an iceberg: the corruption of Egyptian society on the eve of the Six-Day War.
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with bonus
Cairo Station (1958)
Youssef Chahine
Egypt
77′
Bonus: Why Chahine?
Melodrama and thriller, social drama and love story in one, the masterly feature film by the Egyptian director Youssef Chahine, made in 1958, is located entirely on the station grounds. The old Madbouli is the owner of a kiosk at Cairo's main railway station. One day he finds a half-starved, poor man at the edge of the tracks. Madbouli feels sorry for the sad-looking, limping farmer Kenaoui and hires him as a flying newspaper salesman. At work, Kenaoui meets the beautiful Hanouma every day, who also earns her living at the station by supplying travellers with lemonade drinks. Kenaoui falls for the cheerful woman and makes it his goal to marry her. Lonely and in obsessive longing, he cuts out lightly dressed women from magazines in his hut at the edge of the train station in the evening, hanging his walls with them. Although he knows that Hanouma is already promised to the suitcase porter and trade unionist Abou Serih, one day he reveals his feelings to her and proposes to her. Her rejection, soaked with mockery and ridicule, drives Kenawi further into a rage-drenched obsession for Hanuma.
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Death For Sale (2011)
Faouzi Bensaidi
Morocco
117′
Three friends strive to preserve their loyalty to each other in spite of a corrupt society. These young men live in Tétouan, an impoverished Moroccan city. Soufiane, the youngest, spends his days pilfering. Allal, the oldest, is trying to gain a foothold as a drug dealer. Malik falls in love with Dounia who works as a prostitute in a night club. The three friends part to make their own way in life, but before long it looks as though their futures will founder in a maelstrom of violence, greed, jealousy and betrayal. Seeing no other way out, they decide to get together and raid a jeweller’s shop. The film opens with Malik walking towards Dounia, silently laughing. Behind her, knots of video tape float up from a rubbish dump like paper dragons. Faouzi Bensaïdi gives his relaxed young actors plenty of room to manoeuvre. His work casts a spell on account of a visual style that is both laconic and pow- erful and demonstrates how each friend’s dream of happiness only serves to drive a wedge between them. Beneath permanently leaden city clouds they nonetheless find a way to treat each other with gen- erosity and trust.
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La belle et la meute (2017)
Kaouther Ben Hania
Tunisia
101′
During a student party, Mariam, a young Tunisian woman, meets the mysterious Youssef and leaves with him. A long night will begin, during which she’ll have to fight for her rights and her dignity. But how can Justice be made when it lies on the side of the tormentors?
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