Mohammad Saved from the Waters
Mohammad Saved from the WatersOriginal Title: Mohammad sauvé des eaux
Director: Safaa Fathy
Egypt, France, United Arab Emirates | Arabic
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
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