"Cairo Time" tells story of love in a gritty setting

Indiewire.com photo: 'Cairo Time' is a beautiful love story in a gritty setting.Indiewire.com photo: ‘Cairo Time’ is a beautiful love story in a gritty setting.The newest Ruba Nadda debut will be shown today at the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center at 2:15 and 7:15 p.m.

Director Ruba Nadda said about her new film Cairo Time, “It’s why I became a filmmaker. I was desperate to shed light on the misconceptions the West has about the Middle East.”

Cairo Time tells the story of Juliette who, upon traveling to Cairo for a three-week vacation with her husband, finds herself alone in the driving city.

Tareq, friend and employee of Juliette’s husband then takes on the task of revealing the marvelous city of Cairo to Juliette—resulting in a classically touching love story.

Cairo is a city steeped in history and teeming with activity. In fact, it was a love for the intensity of the city itself, which originally spurred the creation of this easy romance.

“It’s gritty and historical and seething with humanity and I just had to capture it on screen,” said Nadda.

Indeed, the city has been occupied by Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Ottomans, Crusaders and Napoleon. The density of influences, ancient and modern, make Cairo a city full of activity.

Nadda draws on her own identity as an Arab woman, and knowledge of the Western world, being from Canada to create a refreshing honesty within the film.

The story that Nadda weaves is simple. It is not melodramatic or excessive but rather calls upon the restraint and proprieties of Jane Austen and golden Hollywood. The character of Juliette is played by Patricia Clarkson and Tareq is played by Alexander Siddig, lending the film a wonderful lead duo.

With a wonderfully pure script, Nadda reveals the city, love and the sweetly melancholy character of Juliette through a series of dichotomies. The clever director sincerely depicts the good and bad of the city, the unusual pairing of an Eastern man and a North American woman, and the unlikely hardships of a woman’s life.

Needless to say, Cairo Time is a vivid painting of beauty, employing resonating charm and affecting humanism. The film is a tribute to exploration, discovery and an open heart.

Admission to the film is free to students with Mercyhurst ID and a priceless opportunity to experience an outstanding example of cinematography as well as a moving love story to city, culture and humanity.