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Cairo Station (12A)

Return to the City

a man sits looking at a woman while she looks away to the distance

A disabled newspaper vendor falls obsessively in love with an engaged drinks seller in Youssef Chahine’s thrilling study of passion, sexuality and violence.

Director Youssef Chahine plays the lead role of Qinawi, a shy, disabled newspaper vendor working in Cairo’s train station, who becomes passionately obsessed with Hannuma, a free-spirited drinks seller. When he faces rejection, Qinawi’s infatuation becomes dangerous as he falls into a state of insanity.

Cairo’s bustling central station is an effective microcosm of Egypt’s capital, as the socioeconomic divides appear at their starkest, and wealthy businessmen rush past the city’s poor, marginalised communities. Chahine blends melodrama, neorealism and thriller conventions to tell an unforgettable, disturbing story of love and madness. It’s one of Chahine’s most accessible films, and the performances are uniformly excellent.

Tagged with: Cinema Return to the City

Egypt 1958 Dir Youssef Chahine 77 min Digital presentation

Barbican Cinema has been supported by the Culture Recovery Fund for Independent Cinemas in England which is administered by the BFI, as part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund supporting arts and cultural organisations in England affected by the impact of Covid-19. #HereForCulture.

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