YACOUBIAN BUILDING, THE

Directed by Marwan Hamed

Egypt, 2006, 161 min.

Epic in scale and boasting a star-studded cast, The Yacoubian Building is based on the best-selling Egyptian novel of the same title. Billed as the most expensive Egyptian film ever made, it is also one of the most controversial due to its depiction of taboo subjects such as corruption, homosexuality, religious hypocrisy, and Islamic extremism. It is set in the actual Yacoubian Building in Cairo. Once the height of comfort and elegance, the building today is no longer the magnificent edifice it once was. Its veneer has cracked and its shine has dulled to reveal the truth beneath the fa├žade. Through the interwoven stories of residents representing different layers of modern Egyptian society, from the old guard to the new, the film presents a vibrant but socially critical picture of contemporary Egypt. In Arabic with English subtitles.