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Mohammad Saved From the Waters

2013 DOK Leipzig, International Programme Documentary Film
France, Egypt, Germany | 2012 | 93 min. | Arabic | English subtitles | European Premiere
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Mohammad Saved From the Waters | Mohammad sauvé des eaux

The Nile, the cradle of Egyptian culture, is said to be a gentle mother, Paris-based writer and director Safaa Fathy says about her home country. But the Nile is an old, sick man, humiliated by those who owe him their lives. The river is polluted, the hospitals crowded with dialysis patients they can barely take care of. Like Mohammad, Safaa’s brother. A kidney disease is gnawing away at his health. But he refuses a transplant for ethical reasons, because organs are a gift from God. The sister who follows him with her camera finds this hard to accept. He is 42, has two children, and looks for new hope every day. He dies on the eve of the revolution. But his story continues posthumously as a dialogue between sister and brother. “It’s a shame for you to film me when I’m melancholy.” The evenings on the Nile depress Mohammad. He feels like a boat drifting on the shoreless waters. Safaa, on the other hand, remembers the legend of Isis, who collected her brother Osiris’s pieces from all over Egypt after he had been hacked to death. So she tries to fit the pieces together and understand this Egypt and its ailing health system, which remains blocked even after the revolution. She does this in an essay that is both personal and political.

Lars Meyer
Original Title: Mohammad sauvé des eaux
Country: France, Egypt, Germany
Year: 2012
Language: Arabic
Subtitle: English
Runtime: 93 min.
Format: HDcam
Color: Colour
Director: Safaa Fathy
Producer: Delphine Morel, Tamer El Said, Christian Popp
Cinematographer: Vincent Buron
Editor: Pauline Casalis
Sound: Mustafa Shaaban
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The texts to the Documentary Competition films and the International Programme films were written by the members of the selection committee. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. All articles where no author’s name is given are production notes.