Subtitle: ”Reda and her 3 daughters”, a very well told human story from the crowded Cairo, about women who earn their money as belly dancers in more or less obscure locations for entertainment, dominated by and set up for men. Reda has 7 children and is most of the film sitting on the floor, smoking cigarettes, taking care of her children, Bussy, Amira and Hind, who have different ages and different problems, with men, with drugs, with a male society, that wants them to dress up and perform, at the same time as they should stay decent (virgins) to be married in an early age. Reda with her mobile phone sitting on the floor, is the situation you will remember from the film.
There is drama in the film, there is presence created in the scenes, you sense that you are there, as Leacock would have said it and you get close because the filmmakers let scenes develop. Taking a break once in a while, time for reflection like when you watch a kite blowing in the wind or a pair of hands moving in the air.
The most intriguing, however, is the constant change of the faces of the women. A change made to please – and earn a living. If you are old enough. Hind is 16, she lives away from Reda, who calls her a whore, because she is in love with a married man. She stays with the father, who seems to be kind but does not have courage (or money?) enough to pay the money asked for to get Hind out of the arrest she has fallen into during one night on her way back from work. She gets out because a man has paid what was needed. A man who wants to marry her. You can easily guess what that will lead to.
Isabelle Lavigne & Stephane Thibault, Canada, 2011, 90 mins.