Birds of Darkness / Toyour El-Zalam

Director: Sherif Arafa
Country: Egypt
Year: 1995
Running Time: 110 min.
Language: Arabic


Subjugated attorney, Fathi Nofal Imam is a clever, straightforward man who loves alcohol and fallen women. He defends Samira, a woman charged with prostitution against prosecutor Ali, an Islamic fundamentalist lawyer. In this light Egyptian comedy, Fathi tackles the imperfect justice system and uses religion to free Samira.

About the Director

Sherif Arafa

Biography: Sherif Arafa, born in 1960, graduated from the Higher Institute of Cinema. His passion for cinema began in his early years as he came from a well-known artistic family. He is the son of director Saad Arafa and the older brother of film director Amr Arafa. Arafa directed movies that became iconic milestones in the history of Arab cinema, including Allaeb ma’a alkebar (Playing with the Giants), Al-irhab wal kabab (Terrorism & Bar.b.que), El Mansy (The Forgotten), Toyour elzalam (Birds of Darkness), El Noom fi el Asal (Sleeping in Honey), Edhak el soura tetlaa helwa (Smile, the Picture Gets Better), El Nazer (The Headmaster), Halim (The Cousins), El gezira (The Island)… Sherif Arafa has won many awards during his artistic career. He won the Silver Award for his film, Al-irhab wal kabab (Terrorism & Bar.b.que), at the Milan African Film Festival in 1992. Arafa won the Bronze Award for his film Toyour elzalam (Birds of Darkness) at the Venice Film Festival in 1995. He also was named best director for his film Halim at The National Film Festival of Egypt in 2007. Sherif Arafa supplemented his successful career as a director by also producing successful works like the sitcom Tamer & Shawkeya and films like Ibn Ezz and Halim. In addition, Sherif Arafa set the dramatic tone of the series Lahzat Harega and directed some of the most important and memorable episodes in seasons I, II and III.


Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Toyour elzalam [Birds of Darkness] (1995).

The Dwarves are Coming (1982);
Alaqzam Kademon (1986);
Allaeb ma’a alkebar [Playing with the Giants] (1991 – Sherif Arafa, Said Hamed);
Al-irhab wal kabab [Terrorism & Bar.b.que/Terrorism and the Kebab] (1993);
El Mansy [The Forgotten] (1993);
Toyour elzalam [Birds of Darkness] (1995);
El Noom fi el Asal [Sleeping in Honey] (1996 – Sherif Arafa, Ali Idrees);
Edhak el soura tetlaa helwa [Smile, the Picture Gets Better] (1998);
Aboud ala el hedoud (1999);
El Nazer [The Headmaster] (2000);
Ibn ezz [Son of Wealth] (2001);
Mafia (2002);
Fool el seen el azeem (2004);
Halim [The Cousins] (2006);
El gezira [The Island] (2007);
Lahzat harega (2007 – Sherif Arafa, Marwan Hamed);
Welad el am [Escaping Tel Aviv/The Cousins] (2009);
Iks Larj (2011);
18 Days [Tamantashar yom] (2011 – Ahmad Abdalla, Mariam Abou Ouf, Kamla Abu Zekry, Ahmad Alaa, Mohamed Aly, Sherif Arafa, Sherif El Bendary, Marwan Hamed, Khaled Marei, Yousry Nasrallah).