All My Life

All My Life

Egypt, 2008, 150 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Drama, Gay, Homophobia, Local Filmmakers / Subjects, Middle Eastern
Program: World Cinema
Language: Egyptian, Arabic

DIRECTOR: Maher Sabry

Epic in length but intimate in scope — and certainly the most daring and sexually explicit portrait of homosexual life in Egypt yet put on screen — Maher Sabry’s film evocatively details the tribulations of 26-year-old Rami, an accountant and dance student living in Cairo. Rami’s boyfriend, Waleed, has just ended their relationship in order to get married. His best girlfriend Dalia is leaving Egypt for San Francisco. And his doctor pal Kareem is pestering him to be more involved in the city’s quasi-underground gay community.
As Rami pursues his own romantic path of one-night stands with closet cases and fetishizing tourists, Kareem is arrested in a police raid on a floating discotheque called the Queen Boat (based on an actual incident in 2001, which catalyzed gay Egyptians and a variety of international human rights organizations into action).
In his ambitious profile of the multifaceted world of his main character, Sabry’s wide-reaching story also includes a devout man living upstairs from Rami, who is trying to quell his longing for women, and an unhappily closeted kid named Mina, who lives across the way. All of these characters are portrayed with palpable compassion — and often in various states of undress — with a variety of dramatic denouements.
A fascinating, if dispiriting, portrait of the current situation for gay Egyptians, All My Life represents a bold cinematic step forward and sets the benchmark for future explorations. — ROD ARMSTRONG

co-presented by

Arab Film Festival, Queer Jihad and South West Asian and North African Bay Area Queers (SWANABAQ)

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