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DDocumentary Competition

Mohammad Saved from the Waters

Mohammad Saved from the Waters

Original Title: Mohammad sauvé des eaux
Director: Safaa Fathy
Egypt, France, United Arab Emirates | Arabic
2010 | 95min. | Colour
Subtitles: English
Format: HDCAM
12+
Safaa Fathy is an Egyptian documentarian who has witnessed first-hand the mixed and tragic legacy left behind by the rabid industrialization of Egypt during the past half century. The problems we see or read about are never quite real until they have quietly entered our own lives and homes. Safaa sensitively takes on the story of her brother Mohammad, who refused a kidney transplant on moral grounds and ultimately loses his life to renal failure, as he struggles with his deteriorating body, the traditions of a complex society, its views of death and the body, his religious beliefs and family members trying to keep him alive.

Over a five-year journey, Safaa’s film explores the government’s complicity in the contamination of food and water supplies and how pangs of poverty and social pressures bridge the journey between life and death. Most villages in Egypt still drink from infected waters, the Nile is polluted, the air thick with car fumes, and factories dump waste both in the air and the river. Industrialized agriculture uses unauthorised insecticides, causing regular outbreaks of food poisoning nationwide. Kidney failure is now so common that dialysis units are common across the country.

Mohammad Saved from the Waters is a deeply personal account of a brother’s life by his sister, but her sensitivity allows this film to speak for the countless souls who are at risk and might tragically suffer the same fate as him. Fathy’s film is an urgent cry, a plea for her countrymen to heal the living, breathing bodies of the people and the ebbing waters of the Nile – a river which is witness to and cannot hide the long and very real history of Egypt.

- Mohammad Khawaja

Director,  Safaa Fathy

Director,  Safaa Fathy

Safaa Fathy was born in Minia, Egypt. She studied at the Sorbonne and received a doctorate in theater. She has directed, or co-directed, fictional and documentary films for television, including Hidden Faces (1991), Doisneau (1993), Ghazeia, danseuses d’Egypte (1993), Le Silence (1997) and Derrida’s Elsewhere (1999), which resulted in a book collaboration between Fathy and Derrida.

Cast and Crew

Director
Safaa Fathy
Production Company
TS Productions
Producer
Delphine Morel
Screenwriter
Safaa Fathy
Editor
Pauline Casalis
Cinematographer
Vincent Buron
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