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CLASH / ESHTEBAK (2016, EGY) Movie review, plot, trailer, rating

Egyptian Mohamed Diab has placed the plot of his entire film inside an armored police vehicle in which more people will end up during a protest on the streets of Cairo. The time is 2013, two years after the Arab Spring when Mubarak was overthrown and the Muslim Brotherhood took power and Mohamed Morsi was appointed president. Very quickly, Morsi was overthrown by a military coup, and those who support the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as secular forces that are against them and the army, took to the streets. In this completely chaotic environment, the action of this terribly realistic and claustrophobic film takes place, shot with a hand-held camera, with which the viewer almost has the impression that he is locked up with all these people inside the van. and stones.

As the protests become more aggressive, so the military detains more and more people. Secularists are crowded inside, and members of the Muslim Brotherhood and those who support Islamists will soon end up with them. Complete chaos from the streets will move inside, and this van seems to represent the microcosm of the then Egypt on the brink of civil war. Almost all of these people who are inside each other would like to bite each other’s throats, but when they realize that stones are flying towards them and being shot at, regardless of their political and worldview affinities, they will all realize that they are in the same shit. They will realize that the interior of the van could become a trap for all of them, and mutual animosity and obvious intolerance will have to be replaced by dialogue and cooperation.

The way Diab shot this exciting and extremely dynamic thriller is fascinating. From the beginning to the end, the viewer has the impression that this is not a film at all, but almost a documentary whose action takes place during a real protest. The city seems to be a real mess there, and Diab wisely does not take any side here, but as if his basic intention is to show all the tragedy that can lead to stubbornness and inability of people to dialogue. But when they realize that they are in equal danger and that it doesn’t matter which side they are on, it’s as if it will come from their ass to their head. Although dozens of people will end up in the armored vehicle by the end, “Clash” is also an interesting character study, because Diab will pay the most attention to several main characters. Rating 7/10.


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