The Departure Lounge at mac birmingham showcases ‘films and film makers taking off.’ The emphasis is on debut feature films, both fiction and documentary; recent series have included Tracy Emin’s ‘Top Spot’, Lindy Heyman’s ‘Kicks’, John Bradurn’s ‘Wrists’, Debbie Aston’s ‘Made in Birmingham/Reggae Punk Bhangra’, and Michael Maynard’s ‘Freestyle.’
To kick off this new series we are delighted to present the debut feature film of Khaled El Hagar. This Cairo / Birmingham film director is one of Egypt’s most controversial movie makers. Already in receipt of over 30 national and international film awards, Khaled El Hagar is among the most significant Egyptian filmmakers of the past two decades. Films and film makers played an important role in ushering in the recent ‘Arab Spring’; Khaled El Hagar’s debut film from 1993 is a prescient political story from Egypt’s recent past.
Little Dreams is the story of Ghareeb, a 13-year-old Egyptian boy who follows his father’s ghost to the front line. The film powerfully conveys a generation’s disenchantment with the popular leader of the late 1960s, Gamal Abdel Nasser. Set in Suez, in the period leading up to and during the six-day war against Israel in 1967, the film is filled with captivating, dreamlike sequences that unfurl with vivid splashes of colour. The picture begins by recapping the protagonist’s life — from his parents’ wedding, his birth and early childhood to his father’s death as a Resistance hero in the 1956 Suez conflict. But soon, our protagonist’s idealism is destroyed by the brutality of conflict, along with his home, town, and dreams for the future. El Hagar’s statement is a gripping, prophetic and human wartime drama.
Little Dreams was the Winner of the Best City Film at the 1993 Birmingham International Film Festival, and was revived during the 2011 Arabic Film Festival in Liverpool.
Omar Kholeif, the Director of the Liverpool Arabic Film Festival, will introduce Little Dreams and discuss the film afterwards with Professor and Producer, Roger Shannon.
Professor Roger Shannon
Edge Hill University, Near Liverpool, UK
Executive Producer, swish films, Birmingham, UK