For the residents of Mafrouza, a rich emotional life is their most important tool to meet the challenges of life in this Alexandrian shantytown. Built within the remains of a Greco-roman necropolis, extreme poverty makes daily life tough, but despite this, the people of Mafrouza have an incredible vitality and a vast capacity for happiness, united in their struggle to survive and to live together.
We follow the inhabitants’ patient attempts to reconstruct themselves and their surroundings. They comment on the filming and express their criticism, fears that the poverty shown here will give a bad impression of Egypt abroad, and also faith in the love between people and countries. No commentary or explanation is provided to impose any judgement, but a dialogue is still created undermining the clichés about life in a shantytown, bringing the difference in living standards in Europe into sharp focus. —dokfest-muenchen.de
Emmanuelle Demoris (born 1965, London). Emmanuelle Demoris lives in Paris, where she studied at the FEMIS cinema school. She first worked in theatre, as a director and an actor. In 1998, she directed the first documentary film, Stone Memories, about the past and the present of a stone quarry near Paris. She started the Mafrouza film project in 2000. The complete Mafrouza series premiered in Locarno IFF in 2010. —Yerevan International Film Festival