At Night, They Dance is one family's story. The film takes us into the heart of a clan of women, in which the art of dancing has been passed down from mother to daughter since time immemorial.
The youngest daughter, Hind, is in love with a married man - she is the one who brings scandal into the household. The eldest, Amira, irritates clients and suffers the laments of a woman often courted but never wed. Bossy, a good girl who marches to her own drummer, reluctantly carries on the family tradition.
The matriarch, Reda, holds the family and its business together - sometimes with a light touch, but mostly with an iron fist. The passionate centre of the family holds court in her small apartment, where a steady stream of complaints and pleas play out almost theatrically. Here, daily life is slowly unveiled as a delicate balance of fears of the profession's hazards, attempts to cheat reality, and hopes for a better life.
Amidst the chaos there are glimmers of tenderness and love, and vulnerability occasionally finds small spaces to exist.
Like folk heroines, these women are larger than life, united, dignified and resourceful.
Filmed in Cairo, At Night, They Dance takes an unsentimental yet lyrical look at a hidden world full of surprise and fascination. The viewer is allowed in as a privileged witness.
A gritty film in which raw beauty triumphs over the harshest realities.
An unflinching film on the power of the will to live.
An uncommon film, full of bare emotion and searing drama.
Feature Length Documentary, 80 minutes, 2010, Canada
Research, scriptwriting and directing : Isabelle Lavigne and Stéphane Thibault
Production : Lucie Lambert - Les films du tricycle
Director of photography: Stéphane Thibault
Sound: Isabelle Lavigne
Editing: René Roberge
Sound design: Claude Beaugrand
Mix: Luc Boudrias
Original music: Benoît Charest
Featuring: Reda Ibrahim, Mohamed Ali, Amira Said, Samir Sayed, Bossy Said, Hind Said
Produced with the financial participation of
SODEC Société de développement des entreprises culturelles - Québec
Québec - Film and Television Tax Credit - Gestion Sodec
National Film Board of Canada
Aide au cinéma indépendant - ACIC
Canada Council for the Arts - Media Arts
Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec
Shaw Media - Hot Docs Completion Fund
Behind their glitzy outfits, Egyptian belly dancers are exhausted young women in constant conflict with the people around them.
Acclaimed by audiences and critics for their 2007 documentary Junior (opening film of the 10th RIDM), the filmmaking team of Isabelle Lavigne and Stéphane Thibault once again go behind the scenes of a mysterious and exciting world. This time their camera focuses on Egyptian belly dancing. Is this nighttime life as glamorous as it seems? Steering clear of stereotypes, these voluptuous young women's lives are slowly revealed with deep candour by a gentle but penetrating camera. Under wigs, makeup and glitzy outfits, the girls are exhausted, drowning in debt, high on drugs or fighting with the people around them. They dance by night, and by day they dream of a better future. A story about love, lies and gyrating hips, by the grace of God.
Isabelle Lavigne, Stéphane Thibault | 2010 | Arabic | s.t. French | 85 min
Country : Quebec
Year : 2010
Language : Arabic
Subtitles : French