Enter Tareq (Alexander Siddig), an old friend of Mark’s who becomes Juliette’s companion and guide, introducing her to various Egyptian customs. The city’s grandeur comes alive as he leads her through the beguiling streets of Cairo. While they wander side by side, Juliette senses an alluring kindness and charm in Tareq, and he is equally taken with her. As she waits for word on her husband’s imminent arrival, the two struggle to control their obvious mutual attraction. The pyramids beckon, offering a gentle reflection of the epic desire building between the tourist and her guide. Their bond becomes increasingly complex as it evolves: is this a profound friendship or something else? Adding to the discomfort is the obvious loyalty they both feel to the man they have in common – Juliette’s husband and Tareq’s friend – who is physically absent but still present in their minds.
Nadda directs her own screenplay, managing to avoid the stereotypical pitfalls such an undertaking could have easily delivered. And Clarkson so owns her role that it’s difficult to imagine another actor having taken it on. Even if you’ve never been to Egypt, Cairo Time will have a ring of familiarity; the film evocatively serves as an analogy for the intricacies of passionate romances that, for practical reasons, can never be realized. Like a sensuous vacation, Cairo Time’s sweet melancholia will linger long after the final credits roll. —tiff.net
Ruba Nadda is an Arab Canadian film director. She was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on 6 December 1972 to a Syrian father and a Palestinian mother. She made several award-winning short films, including Lost Woman Story, Interstate Love Story, So Far Gone and Damascus Nights before writing and directing features I Always Come to You, Unsettled and Sabah. Her movie Cairo Time won the Best Canadian Feature Film award at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival. She is known for shooting feature films in very short time spans. —Wikipedia
Egypt shimmers in Cairo Time. Cairo's sprawling bustle ebbs like a desert oasis in a romantic tryst that quietly develops between Juliette and Taureq her husband's guide and a cafe owner. Juliette arrives like gentle breeze to an unfamiliar place filled with soulful song from Umm Kulthum and a muezzin's call to prayer. Her absent husband working remotely kindles a new spark. Both Clarkson and Siddig shine in film.
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Title: Cairo Time
Country: Canada, Ireland, Egypt
Language: English, Arabic
Director: Ruba Nadda
Writers: Ruba Nadda
Patricia Clarkson… read review