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Cairo Time

Cairo Time

5.0 2
Director: Ruba Nadda, Patricia Clarkson, Alexander Siddig, Elena Anaya

Cast: Ruba Nadda, Patricia Clarkson, Alexander Siddig, Elena Anaya


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A married magazine editor falls for one of her husband's old acquaintances while vacationing in Cairo in this romantic drama from writer/director Ruba Nadda. Juliette (Patricia Clarkson) is a magazine editor who is happily married to Mark (Tom McCamus), a Canadian diplomat.


A married magazine editor falls for one of her husband's old acquaintances while vacationing in Cairo in this romantic drama from writer/director Ruba Nadda. Juliette (Patricia Clarkson) is a magazine editor who is happily married to Mark (Tom McCamus), a Canadian diplomat. Their kids are all grown up, and they've planned a three-week vacation in Cairo together when Mark gets delayed in the Palestinian territories and Juliette is left to navigate the Egyptian capitol alone. In order to ensure his wife's safety until he arrives, Mark asks his former security officer and longtime friend Tareq (Alexander Siddig) to be her guide though the city. He never imagined that they would fall in love, but the more time Tareq and Juliette spend together the more difficult is becomes for them to deny their intense attraction to one another.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
A showcase for the city of Cairo and for the low-key charms of actress Patricia Clarkson, Ruba Nadda's Cairo Time surpasses most romantic travelogues, but that hardly makes it essential viewing. Juliette Grant (Clarkson) is an American magazine editor visiting Cairo to meet with her husband, who works for the UN in the occupied territories. Because he's been delayed by some type of unrest in the region, he sends his friend and former colleague, Tareq (Alexander Siddig of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), to look after Juliette, who is unfamiliar with Cairo. Her idealistic notions of the ancient city grate against his more pragmatic and cynical view, but the two eventually form a bond, which teeters on the brink of infidelity. Cairo is the star of the film, and Nadda and cinematographer Luc Montpellier (Away From Her) do an exemplary job of showing us the everyday life of the city, in addition to the ancient beauty of tourist destinations like Manesterly Palace, the Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan, and the Pyramids of Giza. At first, Juliette spends her time in her very Westernized hotel, where she could probably drink Cosmos all night with a lively group of women one character calls the "petroleum wives." But this isn't Sex and the City 2, and she soon finds herself exploring Cairo, with and without Tareq. It's refreshing to see a film where the American main character visits a foreign city and she is clearly the exotic. Yes, a willowy redhead flittering through the streets of Cairo will turn heads, and Juliette does. Taken aback by the unwanted attention she receives from men in the street, she receives another shock when she learns that the café Tareq runs is only for men. Nadda makes a good point about Western ignorance of Egyptian mores and traditions, but she seems to overplay Juliette's naïveté, particularly in a scene where Juliette blithely boards a rickety commercial bus heading to Gaza, having grown impatient with waiting for her husband to arrive. It's hard to believe that a woman so seemingly worldly and intelligent would be so completely unprepared for what she finds in Cairo. While Juliette serves as the audience surrogate, Tareq is actually a more interesting and complex character. Siddig brings tremendous depth to the role, portraying a decent, intelligent man, torn between traditions he respects and his own urbanity, who seems to have been beaten a bit by the world. Tareq is reasonably friendly on the surface, but his demeanor hints at a wealth of untold sadness and loneliness, even anger. While Juliette's reliance on (and subsequent attraction to) Tareq is understandable, it's less clear what he sees in her. While it's ameliorated somewhat by the strength of Siddig's performance, this is the major failing of the film. It teases us with a forbidden love, but it never convinces us that romance would or should arise. Cairo Time has other, more forgivable weaknesses. It seems a bit too squarely aimed at a particular arthouse/festival audience, with its American protagonist and its slightly irritating plaintive piano score. But in the end, it's a worthwhile film for its strong lead performances, and for its setting, which is thankfully not relegated to the background.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Ifc Independent Film
Region Code:
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Special Features

Trailer; Alternate Ending; Director Commentary; Making Of; Toronto Film Festival Q&A; Short Films

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Patricia Clarkson Juliette
Alexander Siddig Tareq
Elena Anaya Kathryn
Amina Annabi Yasmeen
Tom McCamus Mark
Mona Hala Jameelah
Mohamed Abdel Fattah Customs Officer
Hossam Abdulla Porter
Nabil Shazli Manager
Fadia Nadda Hanan
Ahmed Ghareeb Hanafi Propositioning Man
Mohamoud El Gazar Shoe Shopkeeper
Roanne Bell Sharon
Andrew Cullen Jim
Katie Sherif Petroleum Wife #1
Michelle Power Petroleum Wife #2
Sarah Farouk Ahmed Petroleum Wife #3
Ibrahim Abdullah Mohammed
Ibramo Wafik Aboul Driver
Seoud Abu Hamedi
Magdy Hafez Magdy
Vincenzo Caucasian
Nagham Osman Najah
Ahmed El Ashry Waiter
Magda Thabet Amira
Robert Pandini Italian Man
Mariam Mikiwi Italian Woman
Ahmed Abu Seda Winking Arab Man
Sherif Attira Internet Man
Khouloud Kamel Suha (8 year old
Mohamed Shahin Israeli Soldier
Heba Hammad Young Chambermaid
Esraa Atef-El Shenawy Young Carpet Weaver
Ibrahim Salah Israeli Officer
Amr Abul Nasr Male Party-Goer #1
Cosima Female Party-Goer #1
Uta Female Party-Goer #2
Nader Basyouni Male Party-Goer #2
Radi Ali Ahmed Call to Prayer Imam
Tarek Hariri Bus Driver
Miso Stunt Scooter Driver
Roee Sharon Samira
Eman El Nagar Female Stunt Driver
Abdel Hameed El Belkassy Taxi Driver
Gigi Ukrainian Belly Dancer
Mariam Aboul Magd Young Blushing Girl
Hesham Saleh Young Greenskeeper
Mohamed Waleed Carpet Shop Owner
Wagif Cartouche Shopkeeper
Hesham Abou El Magd Groom
Daniel Iron Groom

Technical Credits
Ruba Nadda Director,Screenwriter
Brenda Boer Costumes/Costume Designer
Niall Byrne Score Composer
David Collins Producer
Tamara Conboy Production Designer
Rob Fletcher Sound/Sound Designer
Teresa Hannigan Editor
David Hayman Musical Direction/Supervision
Stacey Horricks Musical Direction/Supervision
Daniel Iron Producer
Luc Montpellier Cinematographer
Daniel Murphy Asst. Director
Daniel J. Murphy Asst. Director
Charles Pugliese Executive Producer
Christine Vachon Executive Producer
Claire Welland Co-producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Cairo Time
1. An Old Friend [3:41]
2. Back To The Hotel [4:01]
3. A Great View [4:31]
4. Unwanted Attention [3:35]
5. Let Us Walk [3:33]
6. Held Up For Weeks [4:23]
7. A Day In The Desert [4:47]
8. Exploration [5:27]
9. Together On The Terrace [4:28]
10. Bus To Gaza [5:12]
11. Vacationing Alone [4:06]
12. She Plays [5:54]
13. A Sensitive Matter [5:21]
14. Taking The Day Off [7:06]
15. Wedding Train [6:42]
16. It's Not A Wedding In Egypt Unless [4:16]
17. A Date Cut Short [4:50]
18. "I'm Happy I Waited" [3:32]
19. End Credits [4:12]


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Cairo Time 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago