24 June 2020 | CinemaSerf
Good, taut, romantic crime drama....
This is quite a good, multi-layered romantic drama set around the bustling environment of 1950's Cairo railway station. "Hanuma" (Hind Rustum) is the drinks seller whom "Qinawi" (director, Youssef Chahine) has a serious crush on. Snag for him is that she has her eyes on the burly porter "Abu Siri" (Farid Shawqi) who is also a bit of an activist - trying to galvanise the chaotic and easily scared staff at the station to face up to their greedy, conniving boss. It's got to be said that the way the women are treated is tough to watch 60 years on; but, oddly enough, that lends to the authenticity of the prevailing culture that gives the film some of it's edge. The acting is good; though the dialogue way too wordy - the direction is tight and conveys all the hectic, rushed way of life for all concerned whilst gently managing the menace as things take a much more dark (and sexually pervasive) series of turns. No point imposing 2020s attitudes on it - it is what it is, and that isn't at all bad at all if you remember that.