Fiche Film
Cinéma/TV
LONG Métrage | 2015
Petits Chats (Les)
Pays concerné : Égypte
Durée : 80 minutes
Genre : musical
Type : documentaire

Français

Pre-revolution Egypt was in such dire condition, that people tried to escape it all the time and in any way possible. One particularly popular place of escape was Egypt’s 60s and 70s, the so-called golden age. And one marketing ploy took full advantage of this « insight. » In the spring of 2010 Egypt’s premier real estate developer, Palm Hills, invited a select few of Cairo’s upper crust to the launch of their latest gated community project- and promised them a night to remember.

Un film de Sherif NAKHLA

Egypte, 2014, Documentaire, 1h20 minutes, Couleur, en arabe sous-titré

avec
Wagdi Frances
Ezzat Abu Ouf
Omar Khairat
Sadek Gellini
Pino
George Lucas
Sobhi Bedeir
Samir Sabry
Mohamed Salmawy
Mohamed Gohar
Sherif Seif el Nasr

Réalisateur / Director: Sherif Nakhla
Images / Cinematogapher: Sherif Nakhla, Hani Iskander
Son / Sound: Hani Iskander
Monteur / Editor: Sherif Nakhla
Assistant / Best Boy; Aymen Kea
Assistant Electricien / Lighting assistant; Haytham Kea
Chauffeur / Driver: Mostafa el Tayib
Archival Research; Malek Hosny
Graphics : Sameh Tomoum


2015 | 20th Arabian Sights – Washington DC 2015
* Première Mondiale, Prix du Jury Arabian Sights / WORLD PREMIERE, ARABIAN SIGHTS JURY AWARD
* Screening: Friday October 16 – 7:00 PM – AMC Mazza Gallerie – .00 –
* Screening: Saturday – October 17 – 9:00 PM – AMC Mazza Gallerie – .00 – In Person: Director Sherif Nakhla
www.filmfestdc.org/arabiansights/filmView.cfm?passID=8

English

Pre-revolution Egypt was in such dire condition, that people tried to escape it all the time and in any way possible. One particularly popular place of escape was Egypt’s 60s and 70s, the so-called golden age. And one marketing ploy took full advantage of this « insight. » In the spring of 2010 Egypt’s premier real estate developer, Palm Hills, invited a select few of Cairo’s upper crust to the launch of their latest gated community project- and promised them a night to remember.

A film by Sherif NAKHLA

Egypt, 2014, Documentary, 80 minutes, Color, In Arabic with English subtitles




Cast:
Wagdi Frances
Ezzat Abu Ouf
Omar Khairat
Sadek Gellini
Pino
George Lucas
Sobhi Bedeir
Samir Sabry
Mohamed Salmawy
Mohamed Gohar
Sherif Seif el Nasr

Filmmaker Statement
I make films, and music. I direct theater, and i have a band. And i venture to say that this has been one of those years that everything I do has been at its apex and constantly pushing and pulling me through the day, month, year. And its been’a hell of a year,’ to be having a hell of a year in Egypt. Luckily I am making a film about something i am very familiar with. Specifically, a band; my step-father’s old band, Les Petits Chats. The most popular cover band in the history of egypt. The thing is, that I grew up in the middle of all the rock and roll lives they lead, and I found myself often nostalgic about their era.

Perhaps it is partially a nostalgia about my own childhood in a way -if i may theorize for a moment- I believe that that is how all art is made. When we find a live connection between a subject and our own experiences and characters, and personal histories, some switch inside is turned on.

Having experienced two different cultures and lifestyles, I’ve become fascinated by the Western/Arab cultural divide and misunderstandings that potentially arise from such a divide. And this film -in more ways than one- capitalizes on my knowledge and experience living on this divide, and furthers my exploration of it, but in a completely different way than the usual cross-culture film.

Les Petits Chats were an exceptional band. Although they had the talent, backstory, and inter-band dramas that make for the hottest of rock n roll stories, the masses at home also considered them a little too westernized, as they never sang in arabic. In fact, they never had an original song, and a limp attempt to release a record. All they did were covers of Italian, soul, and french crooner and pop music… remaining a band relegated to the elite and creme of Egyptian society. I find myself -with my band- in a similar disposition.
This does not bother me -Egypt is a country of 80 million- and not everyone or everything is for mass consumption. I’m not sure it ever bothered Les Petits Chats either… the ones that wanted the populist masses, left the band and went on to play with Om Kolthoum, Abdel Halim, or become movie stars, opera singers, and international grade maestros.
So in a sense, i’m making this documentary as an exploration of a particular milieu, in a particular era… but one that shows us how rich the cross section of Egyptian society actually was… and still is. Maybe i’m reaching by making this point, but the truth of why I made this film, is probably lying somewhere between my ability to relate to Les Petits Chats, and my fasciation and nostalgia that Egypt was once a rocking cosmopolitan culture capital with a vibrant and kicking nightlife.

Something I barely had time to witness, but grew up hearing about. This rockumentary shows a generation looking to their past, in the hope of not just reliving their glory, but to once again ignite the flame and spirit of the young crowds in a time where hope appears to be scarce. I made this film because i wanted to help them pass the torch… while they show the kids, one last time, how its done.

THE PROGRAMMER’ NOTE (Arabian Sight 2015)
Get ready to tap your feet to James Brown’s « I Feel Good », The Beatles « With a Little Help From My Friends » and Ray Charles’ « Unchain My Heart » – as performed by Egypt’s legendary Les Petits Chats. Concerts by the 60s and 70s rock band were mobbed by loyal fans who danced the night away. Their songs, most of which were an eclectic array of American and European chart toppers, were amazingly and accurately choreographed. Sherif Nakhla’s highly enjoyable documentary offers us an insight into the lives of the former band-mates during and after their glory days by tracking the life choices they made after their breakup in the 80s. Now major Egyptian celebrities and musicians, the six members are reunited for one last show. Beyond electrifying the crowds and reviving past thrills, that magical night also reignited a flame within each of the band members.-Various Sources

Director: Sherif Nakhla
Cinematogapher: Sherif Nakhla, Hani Iskander
Sound: Hani Iskander
Best Boy; Aymen Kea
Lighting assistant; Haytham Kea
Driver; Mostafa el Tayib
Archival Research; Malek Hosny
Graphics; Sameh Tomoum
Editor: Sherif Nakhla


2015 | 20th Arabian Sights – Washington DC 2015
* American Premiere / Première américaine
* WORLD PREMIERE, ARABIAN SIGHTS JURY AWARD
* Screening: Friday October 16 – 7:00 PM – AMC Mazza Gallerie – .00 –
* Screening: Saturday – October 17 – 9:00 PM – AMC Mazza Gallerie – .00 – In Person: Director Sherif Nakhla
www.filmfestdc.org/arabiansights/filmView.cfm?passID=8

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