TIFF 2018 EXT Night Review Featured

TIFF 2018: EXT. Night Review

Contemporary World Cinema 

I rarely get to do public service announcements, but I am going to do one now: EXT. Night is probably the worst of the Festival. Ahmad Abdalia’s Egyptian film is an attempt at deconstructing the class system present in Egypt, but falls flat in its representation of women, especially in the #metoo era. As such, the comedic elements are just not funny.

Karim Kassam plays Moe, a director attempting to finish editing his film, but, for one reason or another, his cab driver, Mostafa and a prostitute, Toutou, intervene and derail his plans. Having graduated from a distinguished university, Moe is of an upper class. Mostafa is of a lower class, and Toutou, is even lower (as is evident when Mostafa slaps her for talking out of turn). Their discussions about the class system present in Cairo are fascinating, as I did not know society was so rigid. However, the purpose of this film seems to be for audiences to go on a city-wide tour with these characters and have fun with their misadventures.

I failed to relate to anyone, aside from Toutou’s rebellious streak, which is constantly under attack by the two men she travels with. She’s in a marginalized position as money is being withheld from her, and I felt uneasy with where the story was going. At the end of the film, the two men joke with each other that Toutou was “such a tease.” Moe is the kind of person that goes along with the mistreatment of women on both his set and around him in real life, so, unless he rectified that, I had no interest in going along for the ride.


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