After the Battle
After the BattleOriginal Title: Baad el Mawkeaa
Director: Yousry Nasrallah
France, Egypt, United Arab Emirates | Arabic
How does one recover lost dignity, not only for revolutionaries but also for those on the other side? This is one of the essential questions confronted by director Yousry Nasrallah, as well as the characters in his latest work, After the Battle
. The film also explores the challenge
of reconstructing in film how individuals live through major historic upheavals – and even more so, how an overwhelming present can be transposed in film in the here and now. Part cinéma vérité, part fiction, with remarkable performances from its cast, After the Battle bristles with a captivating raw energy that takes the viewer to the heart of a revolution that most of the world watched incredulously on television.
Mahmoud (Bassem Samra), father of two, residing with his family in Nazlet el-Samman, fends for a living by taking tourists on horseback rides around the nearby pyramids and performing at horse shows. On February 2, 2011, instigated by Moubarak’s henchmen, he became
one of the ‘Tahrir knights’
who, on horses and camels, charged at revolutionaries. After the fall of the regime, which renders Mahmoud humiliated, unemployed and ostracized, his situation is increasingly difficult. Meanwhile, Reem (Menna Shalaby) is a charming young divorcée who works in an advertising company and lives in Zamalek, a fancy neighbourhood in the heart of Cairo. The revolution has transformed her into a passionate militant. The unlikely encounter between these two will change both of their lives, and their relationship will become the portal through which we discover the implications of the insurgency and its aftermath on two individuals who suddenly are able to dream of a better life.
– Rasha Salti