The Arab Series #1: Noor
For the celebration of the upcoming Ramadan, Fingo has one wish: to decorate with colored lights the building he lives in.
Ramadan is coming and 13 year-old Fingo has one wish — he wants to hang lights on his apartment building for the celebration of the ritual. There’s nothing in front of his block, all the others have another building in front of them. Neighborhood of Amireya, Cairo, where there’s more invested than just decoration. But Fingo doesn’t give up. He’s ready to fight — first his parents and neighbors, then law and traditions. Hatching a plan, he’s got to make a stand for himself, the lights and the community with only two days to go.
Noor is the first short written and directed by Ahmed Ibrahim, a filmmaker who works between Cairo and New York. The Brooklyn-based helmer grew up in Egypt and studied law at Alexandria University before moving to NY where he graduated from the Film and Media Studies program at New York University. He’s a migrant soul clung to his native land and his work is heavily influenced by his relationship to both places. Ibrahim describes Egypt with deep love and healthy as necessary objectivity. Fingo (Karim Abdul Kader) is a hero of our times, a heap of desire and resolution. He wants to stop lying. He processes design and strategy, organizes a collection and an assault plan, runs like a cat and dribbles his opponents in the dust. Hosni Mubarak isn’t a ghost yet, Tahrir Square is so close. Ibrahim is a keen observer and leads us to discover a neighborhood, his neighborhood. Shooting in real locations and using non-actor natives, he sounds out looks, grudges, and silences. His honest and tender storytelling shows the contrasts between the old and young generations.
77 days of light to come out of darkness. A call for justice and equality, a hymn to freedom and youth. Haunting, classically styled music themes are used to create waves of moods and sensations, as Hayren Ensemble’s Perpetuum Mobile and gentle and dreamy The Half Life by Joshua Guthals, which just propels you into Fingo’s last escape from the window. Funded thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign by which Ahmed Ibrahim managed to get more than 11 thousand euro, and produced by Murray Bartlett’s The Q and A Films, Noor has screened at several film festivals worldwide including Dubai (Best Muhr Arab Short), Palm Springs, and Cannes Short Film Corner. Ahmed has also worked with artist / filmmaker Shirin Neshat as an assistant director and directed the short Al Matour (2014, premiered at Dubai). He is in the pre-production stage of his first feature film, Kharouf, which won the Dubai Film Connection award in 2013.
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