The Tentmakers of Cairo


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The Tentmakers of Cairo

Untouched since Pharaonic times.

Year: 2015

Duration: 100 minutes

Genre: Documentary

Classification: Check the classification

Writer: Kim Beamish

Producer: Kim Beamish

Director: Kim Beamish

Over a period of three years, THE TENTMAKERS OF CAIRO follows a community of artisans whose craft has remained largely untouched since Pharaonic times. While their hands stitch superbly detailed traditional designs, they try to make sense of Egypt’s turbulent political scene, from the 2011 revolution to the election of Abdel Fatah Al Sisi in 2014. Progressively, the tentmakers’ world is infiltrated by propaganda, rumour and paranoia. Celebrations turn to conflict, and their colourful back alley becomes a mirror of a larger public space, reflecting the complexity and drama of a country in turmoil. This outstanding observational documentary is a fascinating insight into a grass roots view of world-changing events. Without narration or interviews, and with a soundtrack derived from the sounds of the street, the film brings a much-needed human dimension to the brief news grabs on the world’s TV screens. “A deeply original and empathetic approach to Egypt’s ‘revolution’, which masterfully deals with the complexity of major political events, carefully avoiding any kind of clichés and seamlessly combining micro and macro perspectives, breaking news and millennial traditions.” – Paolo Moretti, Visions de Reel