Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 7:30pm
Hussein Kamal's Chitchat on the Nile

177 Livingston Street, Brooklyn

Introduced by Amy Sillman

Chitchat on the Nile (ثرثرة فوق النيل)
Hussein Kamal, 1971, 115 mins
Based on the novel by Naguib Mahfouz.

My encounter with Chitchat on the Nile began by accident: it was the proverbial dark and stormy night in Malmo, Sweden, where I was spending two days as a Visiting Artist, a gig which is precisely as exciting as watching paint dry. After work, I checked the bulletin board at the Art Academy to see what was shaking. Turned out the Film Club was showing this 1971 Egyptian film that I'd never heard of before, Chitchat on the Nile, which had been banned in Egypt upon its initial release shortly after Nasser's death, as it was seen as a criticism of the Nasser government. The plot involves the ethical struggle of a bureaucrat who gets involved in a hashish club and eventually has to decide between the stoned life and a more correct political engagement. It's like a B-movie gem crossed with an introspective slice-of-life Socialist moral tale, featuring an array of ecstatic schemers, oblivious hopheads, bedazzling vixens, and ego-mad actors, adrift and partying against a backdrop of modern Egypt's urban political landscape. - AS

Amy Sillman is a painter who lives in Brooklyn.

Tickets - $7, available at door.