ELECTRO CHAABI

By Hind MEDDEB

IPS - as PROD

Documentary - Completed 2013


Festivals
& Awards

BFI London FF 2013
    • Year of production
    • 2013
    • Genres
    • Documentary
    • Countries
    • EGYPT, FRANCE
    • Languages
    • ARABIC
    • Budget
    • 0.3 - 0.6 M$
    • Duration
    • 77 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Hind MEDDEB
    • Producer(s)
    • Karim BOUTROS GHALI (IPS), Karim GAMAL ELDIN (Studio Masr)
    • Synopsis
    • Much more than a simple musical phenomenon, electro chaabi is a salutary discharge for a youth haunted by the shackles that the Egyptian society imposes. Electro Chaabi a new kind of music that combines pop, electronic music and freestyles chanted in a quasi-rap style.
      The idea: to combine the sounds and the styles into a frenzy with only one aim: to blow the roof off!

      Victims of corruption and social segregation, the youth of the poorer neighbourhoods exorcize their strife by partying.

      Under tents, lit up multi-coloured balls hang as decoration, dozens of dancers carry out spectacular performances in a setting worthy of a Bollywood film. The lyrics, sung back by the crowd would shock anyone stuck in the thought that Egypt is a strict conservative, religious country; “I took the road to damnation by damnation,” or: “You made me drink till I was drunk! I was completely wasted when you brought me back to my father. You found it funny but I got the biggest smack of my life!”

      Although the party has the allure of a festival or a spring break, this scene actually takes place during a wedding. The attendees are under thirty, represent the majority of the population, and literally take weddings hostage; often making them lose any resemblance to a family or religious festivity.

      From the district of Imbaba to the district of Matariya, each area has its star. Islam Chipsy, the Jimmy Hendrix of the synthesizer reinvents psychedelic trance, revolutionizing the very concept of oriental music. Chispy financially supports his entire family, having had to grow up fast, at 24, he already has the responsibility of a patriarch.

      DJ Wezza is a pioneer in his field, and has put together an incredible musical team around him. Today, his group incarnates the voice of celebrations with light and funny songs. At his side, are the rappers Oka and Ortega, seductive handsome young men, often harassed by hundreds of groupies on their facebook accounts and mobile phones.

      MC Sadate and Amr Haha personify the political conscience of a disinherited youth. They preceded the Revolution with their revolutionary anthems. For several years now, they have used their music to denounce political and social injustices, police corruption and discrimination.

      Through the life of these musicians, one discovers an Egyptian youth who, in spite of its extreme poverty is open to the world. They upload their electronic music and make themselves known via facebook and youtube. Many of their live performances are filmed on mobile phones and uploaded, going viral online.

      Our heroes remain stars without copyrights and live on the modest performance fees that they receive when playing at a wedding. Recently, a lot of interest has been show towards them on an international level: Sadate, Amr Haha and Islam Chipsy are invited to play at Marseilles, European capital of culture in 2013.
      The film will follow them on their path to recognition.
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