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Ronin Films

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Year: 2015

Classification: Exempt - Ronin Recommends: PG

Runtime: 93 min

Produced In: Australia

Directed By: Kim Beamish

Produced By: Kay Rasool

Language: Arabic + English subtitles


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WINNER! Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award (shared) - 2015 Margaret Mead Film Festival

"Beautifully constructed and persuasive viewing ... a subtle and thoroughly engaging doco. ... It allows the men to tell their own story virtually unmediated, and it's fascinating. ... Something tells me that the cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead would have enjoyed hearing that a documentary award in her name had gone to a film about men who sew." - Jane Freebury, Canberra Times

Over a period of three years, THE TENTMAKERS OF CAIRO follows a community of Egyptian artisans whose craft has remained largely untouched since Pharaonic times. While their hands stitch superbly detailed traditional designs, they try to make sense of Egypt's turbulent political scene, from the 2011 revolution to the election of Abdel Fatah Al Sisi in 2014.

Progressively, the tentmakers' world is infiltrated by propaganda, rumour and paranoia. Celebrations turn to conflict, and their colourful back alley becomes a mirror of a larger public space, reflecting the complexity and drama of a country in turmoil.

This outstanding observational documentary is a fascinating insight into a grass roots view of world-changing events. Without narration or interviews, and with a soundtrack derived from the sounds of the street, the film brings a much-needed human dimension to the brief news grabs on the world's TV screens.

A film by Kim Beamish.

"A deeply original and empathetic approach to Egypt's 'revolution', which masterfully deals with the complexity of major political events, carefully avoiding any kind of clichés and seamlessly combining micro and macro perspectives, breaking news and millennial traditions." - Paolo Moretti, Visions de Reel


  • WINNER! Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award (shared) - 2015 Margaret Mead Film Festival
  • WINNER! Prix Buyens-Chagoll - 2015 Visions du Réel
  • WINNER! El Ray Award for Excellence in Documentary Narrative Filmmaking - 2015 Barcelona Film Festival

Follow this link to view THE TENTMAKERS OF CAIRO trailer:

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