In one of her earliest and most poignant works, veteran documentarian Ateyyat El Abnoudy captures the dignity of Cairo's poor. In this beautifully photographed document the primitive process of brick making is examined, revealing the monotonous choreography of a nonetheless meaningful social task. The sad dance of their fluid movements intermingled with personal stories deeply resonates.
Video includes two other shorts: Sad Song of Touha and The Sandwich.
1971, Egypt, Documentary, 12mins, Black & White
Dir.: Atteyat al Abnoudi
This revelation of a film, made for a pittance by the Film Association of Cairo, surprised audiences with its new tone, and its engaged social view inaugurated a new era for Arab documentary film. This change was due entirely to a woman who had just made her first film; for if the documentary film tradition had been part of different Arab societies since Egypt in the 1920s, earlier films often had the well-defined functions of informing, educating and sometimes ideologizing spectators.
Ateyyat El Abnoudy
Arabic with English Subtitles
Production: Film Association of Cairo
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Winner: Grand Prix - FIPRESCI at Grenoble, France
Winner: Manheim Film Festival, germany
Winner: Damascus Film Festival, Syria