Egypt’s Modern Pharaohs

Director: Jihan El-Tahri
Countries: Egypt/France/USA/Qatar
Year: 2014
Running Time: (56min. x 3) 168min.
Language: Arabic, French and Russian with English subtitles

On January 25, 1952, downtown Cairo was burnt down: angry mobs demanded the departure of British colonial military rule and called for ‘bread, freedom and social justice’. Fifty-nine years later to the day, the same anger was displayed, the same slogan brandished – but this time against Egypt’s elected president. For six decades, Egypt’s post-colonial leaders forged a system that harnessed military and religious powers, struck a delicate balance in foreign relations and muzzled a complacent civil society. What led the docile Egyptians to mass revolt? How were the promising ideals of the 1952 revolution hijacked? What led to the total breakdown of social justice and political freedom? Filmmaker Jihan El-Tahri has created a masterpiece trilogy of films about former Egyptian presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser, Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak, aptly titled, ‘Egypt’s Modern Pharaohs’!

About the Director

Jihan El-Tahri

Biography: Jihan El-Tahri is an Egyptian writer, director, and producer. After receiving a degree in political science from the American University in Cairo, she worked as a news correspondent for British and American newspapers, covering the Middle East and Africa. In 1990, El-Tahri began directing and producing documentaries for French television and international broadcasters. She has produced and directed numerous documentaries, including the award-winning film Behind the Rainbow. She also produced and directed the acclaimed documentary Cuba: An African Odyssey and the Emmy-nominated House of Saud. Jihan’s other accomplishments include being a member of the Executive Bureau of FEPACI (Federation of Pan-African Cinema) and the Secretary General of the Guild of African filmmakers in the Diaspora.

(Sources:
http://jihaneltahri.com/
Through African Eyes – Conversations with the Directors – Volume 2, BONETTI Mahen and SEAG Morgan (Editors), 2010, African Film Festival, Inc. and Printinfo JV LLC, Yerevan, Armenia, p.113)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Cuba: An African Odyssey (2008);
Behind the Rainbow (2009);
Egypt’s Modern Pharaohs (2016).

Filmography:
Heaven Can Wait (Date unknown);
Terrorism (Date unknown);
Arafat: Behind the Myth (Date unknown);
The Fundamental Question (Date unknown);
Do they Feel My Shadow (Date unknown);
Le Jour de drapeau (Date unknown);
Enfance enchaînée (Date unknown);
Le Coran et la Kalashnikov (1990-94);
Voleurs d’organes (1990-94);
The Spiral Tribe: Rave Parties in UK (1990-94);
Abortion in Ireland (1990-94);
Algérie: la vie malgré tout (1990-94);
Holidays in Hell (1995-98);
Israel and the Arabs (1995-98);
L’Afrique en morceaux: la tragédie des grands lacs (1998);
54 heures d’angoisse (2000);
Histoire d’un suicide: Pierre Bérégovoy (2001);
Viewpoints on AIDS (2002);
The Price of Aid (2003);
House of Saud (2005);
Cuba: An African Odyssey (2006);
Behind the Rainbow (2009);
Egypt’s Modern Pharaohs (2014).