Electro chaabi

Electro chaabi
Director: Hind Meddeb

Egypt, France, 2013, documentary, 77 min., arabic with english and lithuanian subtitles, V

While Egypt has traditionally been the beating heart of classical Arabic music, with legendary singers such as Oum Kalthoum and Abdel Halim Hafez, a new craze is taking over the Arab world’s most populous nation: Electro Shaabi. Inspired by the down-and-dirty music played at street parties and weddings, this new populist dance form combines a punk spirit with a hip hop attitude set against a furious cascade of drums, bass and electronic vocals. If feature-length documentaries such as Buena Vista Social Club helped introduce world audiences to the lost golden melodies of Cuban music, director Hind Meddeb is bringing the furious, sweaty rhythms of downtown Cairo to global ears with Electro Shaabi. While the beats are designed to get your feet moving, the lyrics, often laced with revolutionary fervour, offer insights into the mindset of today’s restless Egyptian youth. Unlike anything you’ve seen (or heard) before.

About the director:

Documentary filmmaker, freelance journalist and reporter, Hind Meddeb hasn’t stopped moving between France, North Africa and the Middle East. A citizen of both sides of the Mediterranean, Hind’s duality frees her opinions of typecasts and common judgements. Her reports for ARTE TV in Tunisia, Egypt and Lebanon show the complexity of a situation usually beyond any stereotypes. Her first film “Casablanca. One way ticket to Paradise” follows the destiny of the 14 Moroccan suicide bombers in Casablanca in May 2003. Her next film will throw us into the universe of Tunisian Rap, contesting, politically engaged and coloured with the different political tendencies, from the seculars to the Islamic fundamentalists.

Section: Main programme

Screenplay: Hind Meddeb

Dir. of Photography: Hind Meddeb, Omar Khodier

Music: Ahmad Capaoré