An intensely personal coming of age tale is told against a background of turbulent national politics in Egyptian multihypenate mohammed siams absorbing feature length debut amal. Granted a high profile launchpad as opening movie of the worlds biggest documentary festival IDFA this nicely observed if stylistically familiar profile of a convention bucking protagoinst will have no problem scoring berths at similar events over the coming months. Indeed its pretty much guaranteed a slew of festival invitis as the movie officially a co-production between egypt lebanon germany france norway denmark and qater has truly done the rounds of labs and developement forums on its way to the screen. More than a minute of the closing credits is devoted to namechecking such bodies including no fewer than 41 logos for various funders and programs from all over the planet.
The picture itself provides futher evidence that such processes tend to dilute whatever individual stamp directors might otherwise impart. Amal adheres slavishly to prevailling trends even to the hackneyed extent of deploying slow echoing piano notes for one particularly sad sequence involving the eponymous heroine mourning her deceased father. The sudden death of only child amal beloved dad when she was 11 was evidently the most formative trauma of her young life. Three later as a young teenager she was swept up in the revolution which usseated long time egyptian president hosni mubarak sparking a time of tumult and hope the meaning of amal whose complicated aftermath is traced over the course of the movie five sections.
Of varying lengths ranging from 11 to 32 minutes these proceed on a year by year chronology. The feisty but insecure amal whose arms bear the scars from her self harming past haltingly blossoms from rebellious teen to ambitous 20 year old before our eyes. While the real drama of her life has occurred before the action proper begins her journey is nevertheless truely transformative it begins with the hoodie sporting tomboy openly insulting and taunting the police seen as brutish enforcers for mubaraks corrupt regime and ends with her deciding to join their ranks.
Amal Movie Debut Documentary Opened The World Biggest Nonfiction Movie Festival,