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Scheherazade, Tell Me a Story

Director: Yousry Nasrallah
From: Egypt
Year: 2009- Minutes:135
Language :Arabic with English subtitles
Genre: fiction
Original title : Ehky Ya Schahrazad

Cairo, today. Hebba, a television show host, presents a successful political talk show on a privately owned network. Karim, her husband, is deputy editor in chief of a government-owned newspaper. His ambition is to become editor in chief. He is led to believe by the party leaders, that his wife’s constant meddling with opposition politics could put his promotion in danger. Using his boyish charm and sexual prowess, he convinces Hebba to stay away from politics, and devote her program to social issues for which the government cannot be held responsible. She starts a series of talk shows around issues involving women. She listens to the stories of resilient, strong women, who, like Scheherazade in “A Thousand and One Nights”, tell their stories to stay alive. Hebba knows, of course, that women’s issues are political. But she could not imagine up to which extent. Gradually, she finds herself walking in a minefield of abuse, sexual, religious, social and political repression that lead to the break-up of her marriage. From storyteller, Hebba herself becomes a story.

“More than 70 percent of Egyptian households depend on women’s work. Rather than accept this reality, and accordingly accept women as equals, society is constantly pressuring women into showing more submission” writes Yousry Nasrallah in his production notes. “Formally, this paradox has allowed me to restore (and subvert) a link with a wonderful tradition in Egyptian Cinema: the superb melodramas and the gorgeous women, who allowed audiences to emote, think and enjoy films for over a hundred years.”

Cameron Bailey, Co-Director of the Toronto Film Festival writes “Fluid, handsome and gorgeous to behold, Scheherazade, tell me a story is a polished piece of Egyptian storytelling – polished to an edge.  Nasrallah proves himself a master of compelling narrative that carries a strong social critique.  Provocative and audacious in its exploration of how men and women shape each other’s lives in today’s Cairo, Scheherazade, tell me a story marks an important addition to the canon of Egyptian cinema.”

DVD sale: $295


Trailer # 1

Trailer # 2




"Lively, swift, vibrantly colorful and for the most part wonderfully acted, the film is slyly aware of the daytime talk show as a vehicle for women's concerns."

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"This superb 2009 feature, like the finest works of his mentor (Destiny), brilliantly intertwines melodrama, a lyrical formal style and a ferocious political denunciation of Egypt’s oppressive patriarchal culture and corrupt political state—a denunciation that gathers an obvious immediacy and authenticity given recent events."


[Scheherazade, Tell Me a Story is] an urgent political statement that's also a funny, sexy entertainment

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New York, NY

Sat. 8/12 @ 7:30PM
Sat. 8/13 @ 8PM
Sun. 8/14 @ 4PM
Mon.  8/15 @ 7PM 
Tue. 8/16 @ 7PM
Wed. 8/17 @ 7PM
Thu. 8/18 @ 7PM 
Fri. 8/19 @ 8PM
Sat. 8/20 @ 8PM
Sun. 8/21 @ 1PM



Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, February 19 @ 9:00 PM
Pan African Film Festival

New Orleans, LA
Feb 25 thru Mar 3 @ 8:00 p.m.
Zeitgeist Multi-disciplinary Arts Center
1618 O.C. Haley Blvd. New Orleans, LA 70113

Chicago, IL
Opens at Facets Cinematheque Mar 11
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