Canadian Women Film Directors Database
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Cairo Time

Directed by Ruba Nadda
Canada / Ireland, 2009 (fiction, 88 minutes, colour, English)
Also known as "Souvenirs du Caire", "W Kairze"

Film Description:
"Juliette, a magazine editor in her late 40s, travels to Cairo to meet her husband for a three-week visit. When he is unavoidably delayed, he sends his friend Tareq [...] to escort her throughout the beautiful and exotic city. The last thing anyone expects is that they will fall in love."
-- Telefilm Canada (source)

Film Credits (partial):
Written by: Ruba Nadda
Produced by: Daniel Iron, David Collins, Claire Welland
Principal Cast: Patricia Clarkson, Alexander Siddig, Elena Anaya, Amina Annabi, Tom McCamus
Cinematography: Luc Montpellier
Film Editing: Teresa Hannigan
Production Company: Foundry Films Inc., Samson Films
(sources)

Awards won by Cairo Time

Notes about Cairo Time

(sources)

Quotes by the Director

"Everybody keeps asking me how I cast Patricia Clarkson, and I keep saying that the script that I wrote was very simple, and subtle, and I just needed an actress who could really pull off that subtlety, and [with] just the flick of any eye, she could [...] get us that feeling and that emotion, and she's just such an amazing actress."
-- Ruba Nadda (source)

"I just wanted to make a movie that was a throwback to old classic Hollywood films, reminiscent of the restraint and tensions of [...] Jane Austen, who I'd studied in university."
-- Ruba Nadda (source)

Quotes by the Director [in French]

"J'ai voulu faire un film de style classique, qui rappellerait les tensions et les contraintes de l'époque de Jane Austen. [...] Dans les films américains habituels, les histoires d'amour visent toujours la gratification instantanée. Celle-ci est axée sur la retenue."
-- Ruba Nadda (source)

"[Les autorités égyptiennes] avaient très peur qu'on donne une mauvaise image [du Caire]. Ils ne voulaient pas qu'on filme la pauvreté. Ni la saleté. Ni les gares de trains. Ni les pyramides. Tout le long du tournage, on a été suivis par une agente du comité de censure. Il a fallu rivaliser d'ingéniosité pour se soustraire à sa surveillance."
-- Ruba Nadda (source)

Quotes about Cairo Time

"Cairo is really dense and noisy. But [in Cairo Time Alexander Siddig and I] both played roles that had a languid centre, a calming centre. When Juliet arrives in the city, she has to awaken and take things in. It's an internal, profound shift that could only happen in this place at this time."
-- Patricia Clarkson (source)

"I'm pretty much in every shot of the film, and I've never done that before. I've been the leading lady of a film but I've never really carried a film. Being of a certain age -- I hate that phrase -- but I am, with all of its connotations. At the time [Cairo Time was shot] I was 48; now I'm 50. Roles like this are rare. I relished it. This was one of the most difficult parts I've ever played in my life, ever."
-- Patricia Clarkson (source)

"Like Tokyo in Lost in Translation, Cairo plays a role unto itself in Cairo Time, which like that earlier film seems steeped in an ethereal, slightly dazed sense of dislocation. As Juliette embarks on her geographic and psychological journey, it's never clear where she's going or means to end up, which makes the film's most pivotal moment -- elegantly staged by Nadda in a hotel lobby and elevator -- all the more electrifying."
-- Ann Hornaday (source)

"Quiet, mature and visually riveting thanks to the location work in Cairo, [Ruba] Nadda, [Patricia] Clarkson and [Alexander] Siddig create a colourful weave of emotional textures that prove as timeless as the pyramids."
-- Katherine Monk (source)

"We made an effort to frame Juliette within static shots as she first ventures out into the city. As she begins to explore and feel more comfortable, the use of the Steadicam becomes more prevalent. We hope that helps the audience share in her emotional state."
-- Luc Montpellier (source)

Quotes about Cairo Time [in French]

"[Dans Cairo Time, la] tension érotique n'est jamais exacerbée par Ruba Nadda, qui la dilue dans la chaleur écrasante d'une mégapole qui ne semble jamais dormir, tout comme son héroïne, incapable de trouver ses repères dans cet environnement déroutant. La cinéaste préfère capter ces multiples moments de complicité quasi amicale entre un homme de principes et une femme qui commence à trouver les siens passablement contraignants."
-- André Lavoie (source)

"L'immense mérite de cette très belle oeuvre [Cairo Time] de la Canadienne Ruba Nadda est l'évitement : pas de sexe, pas de drame, pas d'adultère, pas de rupture, pas de mari jaloux."
-- Aleksi K. Lepage (source)

Publications by the Director about Cairo Time

Bibliography for Cairo Time

Journal Articles

Newspaper or Magazine Articles

Web Sites about Cairo Time


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