Fiche Film
LONG Métrage | 2009
Mosafer (Le voyageur)
Pays concerné : Égypte
Durée : 125 minutes
Type : fiction


Premier long métrage de Ahmed Maher,
avec Omar Sharif, Cyrine Abdel Nour, Khaled El Nabawy, Amr Waked


Traveler (The)
Despite being set against the backdrop of key moments in Egypt’s recent history, The Traveler is about the personal, not the political. This enormously impressive debut is a moving meditation on a man’s fumbling search for his identity, a search which comes to reflect that of his nation.

by Ahmed Maher, Egypt 2009, 125 mins,

Ahmed Maher’s first feature film is a deftly constructed, beautifully gauged work centred on the life of one man during three very different years of his life: 1948, 1973 and 2001. These dates have a historical resonance all their own – especially for a protagonist who is an Arab and an Egyptian. But Maher only uses these years as backdrops, and his film concentrates entirely on the personal. Yet the event that involves Hassan (Khaled El Nabawy) in the first episode of The Traveller has immense repercussions throughout the rest of his life, much as the events of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War set the stage for the Yom Kippur War of 1973 and the terror attacks on New York in 2001.

However, politics is the last thing on the minds of Maher’s characters. In the first episode of the film, Hassan is a telegraph operator newly arrived in Port Said whose first job is to deliver a telegram to the city’s renowned beauty, Noura (Cyrine Abdelnour), from her lover. Hassan arrives on the ship where she is staying, and is mistaken for the lover by the vessel’s captain. Besotted by Noura’s beauty, he is unable to control himself, and the consequences of his deeds reverberate throughout his life in completely unexpected ways. Maher details this outcome in the two very subtle episodes that follow. In mid-life, Hassan receives a call from a woman who sounds exactly like Noura, continuing a narrative that does not end until he reaches old age. In the late stages of his life, Hassan, now played by the incomparable Omar Sharif, is finally brought face to face with his past and what he did as a young man.

The Traveller is full of twists and surprises. Actions have consequences, and Maher’s screenplay explores the rich possibilities that result from one startling moment of passion. The film is a series of set pieces, intricately plotted and conceived, and Maher uses the locations and rituals of Egyptian life to full effect. Employing a style of restraint and order, he leads us down the passageways of one man’s life with measured control. Constantly intriguing and wonderfully mysterious, The Traveller feels like a fully realized, mature piece of filmmaking.
Piers Handling (Toronto Film festival 2009)

Country: Egypt/Italy
Year: 2009
Language: Arabic
Runtime: 125 minutes
Format: Colour/35mm
Rating: PG

Production Company: Maxus Production/Ministry of Culture of Egypt/ Egyptian Culture Development Fund
Producer: Alberto Luna
Screenplay: Ahmed Maher
Production Designer: Onsy Abusif
Cinematographer: Marco Onorato
Editor: Tamer Ezzat
Sound: Francesco Cucinelli
Music: Fathy Salama

Principal Cast: Omar Sharif, Khaled El Nabawy, Cyrine Abdelnour, Amr Waked, Sherif Ramzy

2009 | MIEFF, Abu Dhabi
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