ON SCREEN · FILM
The Yacoubian Building
A vivid slice of Egyptian life, based on the bestselling novel that took the Arab world by storm.
Free, no tickets required
“A vivid, lively, moving, often very funny movie that encompasses a whole society and treats a normally taboo subject with considerable frankness.” —The Guardian
Discussion follows with writer Alaa Al Aswany and Prof. Tarek El-Ariss
An eye-catching edifice, the Yacoubian Building in Cairo was long regarded as the last word in comfort and elegance, but now the veneer has cracked and the shine has dulled to reveal the truth underneath the façade. Alaa Al Aswany’s bestselling novel of the same title, which took the Arab world by storm upon release in 2002, renders this building as a metaphor for Egypt, with all manner of flawed, fragile humanity within. The cast of eccentric characters includes a fading aristocrat and self-proclaimed “scientist of women”; a sultry, voluptuous siren; a devout young student, feeling an irresistible pull toward fundamentalism; a newspaper editor helplessly in love with a policeman; and a corrupt and corpulent politician, twisting the Koran to justify his desires.
Through the interwoven stories of these residents, this gripping adaptation paints a portrait of corruption, fundamentalism, prostitution, homosexuality and drugs in central Cairo and creates a vibrant but critical picture of contemporary Egypt.
D: Marwan Hamed, Egypt, subtitled, 2006, 2h41m