By Ibrahim EL BATOUT


Drama - Completed 2010

Under a recently ousted repressive regime, a political prisoner detained by Egypt's state security agency- now dismantled- is released and sent on a mission to fetch a sheath of important documents, and through his journey we explore a city populated by disparate, often desperate, characters.

    • Year of production
    • 2010
    • Genres
    • Drama
    • Countries
    • EGYPT
    • Languages
    • ARABIC
    • Budget
    • 0.3 - 0.6 M$
    • Duration
    • 115 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Ibrahim EL BATOUT
    • Writer(s)
    • Ibrahim EL BATOUT
    • Producer(s)
    • Hossam ELOUAN (Ein Shams Films )
    • Synopsis
    • In Alexandria, a city that hides more than reveals, a city composed of many layers of civilizations and traditions since the time of Alexander the great , Hawi our film Takes place.
      Hawi simply means a street Magician whose tricks are known by every one yet he continues to perform and by passers continue to watch. In our film most of our characters resembles the Hawi.
      Youssef (40 years old ) gets out of 5 years imprisonment. It seems that they let him out just to hand in the documents that he kept hiding for over 5 years.
      Ibrahim (46 years old) comes back to Alexandria after being away for 20 years. He just wants to see his 20 years old daughter Called Aya that he never saw since he ran away. Ibrahim knows that he can’t reveal his identity to Aya before spending sometime with her specially that she has no idea how he looks like. Little did he know that time is not a luxury he could afford.
      Fady a 60 years old musician mentors the underground band called Massar Egbary and Aya (Ibrahim’s daughter). The band composes a song Called Hawi. The song kind of summarizes the status quo we Egyptians have been trenched in for almost 60 years.
      During the film we discover that there is a certain bond between our three characters; Fadi, Youssef and Ibrahim though they meet only once. Later we understand that they shared the same prison 20 years ago.
      Gaafar the simple horse man who discovers that his horse is dying in a month time, does all he can to comfort his long time companion who shared his life and helped him get by, he takes his horse to the sea hoping that may be the sea water could heal him, he walks him in Alexandria's streets day and night wishing that may be this could alleviate his medical conditions. Gaafar even brings his horse back home to sleep with him in his impoverished room and makes him listen to music.
      It turns out that Gaafar is Youssef's neighbor though they will never meet. Gaafar is also the brother of Hanan the belly dancer who dances in a nightclub visited every night by Youssef. She also teaches belly dancing to Aya , Ibrahim's daughter . Hanan who gets robed, is ridiculed and aggressed by the police officer when she dared to file a complaint after the robbery. That doesn’t stop her from saving Ibrahim’s life seconds before Youssef gets killed in what appeared to be a car accident.
      Ibrahim had the idea of interviewing many young girls under the pretext of choosing a TV correspondent to report about the independent art scene in Alexandria, of course his long time friend Fady convinced Aya to apply for the post that seemed tailored for her and she finally got accepted. In their first meeting after the interview Aya is shocked to see Ibrahim coming with a broken left arm telling her that soon he has to go back to France till his arm heals again. Aya kind of senses that something is wrong.
      Youssef looks for his daughter Jasmine in her Franciscan school and finds her practicing singing in a deserted church, when she senses his presence she stops singing and waits for him to run towards her and hug her since she couldn’t move as fast because she is blind.
      Later on Youssef attends the concert where Jasmine is part of the choir, he can’t talk to her in public because he feels that someone is following him.
      When Youssef finally decides to meet his old friends Fady & Ibrahim he spends 10 minutes only with them. To their surprise he gave them part of the money he received after giving in the long awaited documents, he tells Fady that the rest of the documents are in the bank’s vault and that the password to the safe is tattooed on his back. Will he listen to his friends trying to convince him that he should run away right now? Of course he wont, 5 years of solitary imprisonment leave little room for fear to sink in.
      As if shocking news has to come all at once, Ibrahim leaves his friends to meet Aya who tells him that she needs her salary before the month ends. When he insists on knowing the reason Aya bluntly tells him she needs the money to make an abortion.
      At the nightclub called Alexandrina, Hanan the dancer performs with a black dancing gown and Bank notes pour on her head, a sign of appreciation by the guests watching her. Among them is Youssef who is calmingly enjoying the show. Upon exiting Alexandrina the last thing that Youssef heard was the pitchy noise of the car that hit him. The wooden shutters of a balcony opened by Aya echoed the noise coming from the accident. She is utterly shocked to see the body of a person lying right beneath her balcony.
      The next day Ibrahim phones his daughter to tell her that he will go with her to the doctor, he knew that Youssef died, he was right there waiting under Aya’s building hesitating to pay her a visit when the accident happened. If it were not for Hanan the dancer who pushed him away and took him home with her he could have been next to Youssef in the morgue.
      In front of the sonar monitor fixated by Ibrahim’s eyes the gynecologist tells Aya that he is sorry, she is not pregnant. This doesn’t give any room for her father to relax specially when Aya aggressively tells him that she sensed that he is her father and how she despises him for leaving her all these years never trying to contact her.
      Can we wait for more to happen in this film?
      At dawn by the corniche where Aya and Ibrahim walked before while getting to know each other, and where Gaafar used to ride his kart when his horse was still healthy, Massar Egbary the independent band is being filmed by Aya & her small camera performing their song called Hawi. They chose to be filmed not while walking along the seaside and not while singing on a stage; they chose to be singing on top of Gaafar kart pulled by his Horse.
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