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18 / November / 2009
Estreno de LA CIUDAD DE LOS MUERTOS en Amsterdam

In the vast El Arafa cemetery in Cairo, a city has arisen among the tombs and mausoleums. This city of the dead has a living population of one million. There are many funerals each day, while life goes on all around: a young shepherd drives his cattle through the small streets, a market woman tries to sell plastic laundry baskets, and children play among the tombstones, flying their kites. No respect for the dead, then. There is, however, an all-pervasive sense of realism: in this necropolis, the living and the dead are bound together into a pact of peace. Directed by Sérgio Tréfaut, The City of the Dead presents us with various aspects of this strange and wonderful enclave. We see the serene and beautiful sand-colored graves as well as the turmoil of a place where a predominantly poor population struggles to survive. The camera movements are calm and measured, as is the voice describing the attractions of this city of the dead, where the rhythm of life is defined by the Koran. Allah may be omnipresent, but that does not stop someone from leaning against a tombstone and burping, calling a passerby a bastard, or openly speaking of a yearning for sex before marriage. As a local woman says, Living so close to death is bound to bring wisdom.

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