Tickets: € 5
After a flood in their apartment block, struggling actress Aida (Salma Samy) and her 70-year-old neighbor Samiha (Menha Batraoui) suddenly find themselves homeless. Joined by their friend Yassin (Marwan Alazab), the women roam the streets of Cairo seeking shelter. Along the way, they must confront the past and discover the value of friendship. Cactus Flower is the poetic and hopeful debut feature by Netherlands-based Egyptian visual artist Hala Elkoussy. "Balancing magical realism with wistful drama, this tender film is given heart and soul thanks to (its) lead performances,' wrote critic Mark Adams at the Dubai International Film Festival where Batraoui won the Best Actress award. The screening will be followed by a conversation with Hala Elkoussy moderated by curator and art historian Arnisa Zeqo. This event is co-presented by VRIZA and Cinema of the Dam'd. Watch the trailer.
Directed by Hala Elkoussy, 2017, Egypt/Norway/UAE/Qatar, 104 minutes. In Arabic w/ English subtitles.
Bar opens @ 19:00
Born in 1974, Hala Elkoussy grew up in Cairo. She studied at Goldsmiths in London and was a resident at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam from 2005 to 2006. Since then, she has lived in the Netherlands. She has made several short films that have been shown in museums, exhibitions and at biennials worldwide and at film festivals. Elkoussy's work is included in the collections of Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and Tate Modern, among others. Her debut film Cactus Flower premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) in 2017 and won various prizes at international festivals, including the Best Actress Award during the Dubai International Film Festival and the Special Jury Award at the Aswan International Women Film Festival 2018.