The story of ‘N’
Laila Samy El Balouty | documentary | 16 min | Egypt | 2013
Arabic with English subtitles
For many years a Cairo woman has been working in a beauty salon: How does she deal with the contempt that her preofession encounters in Egyptian society?
‘N’ is the protagonist in this film, but we never see her face. What we do see, are her hands as she works in a Cairo beauty salon, as well as her surroundings and a backdrop of Egyptian people in the street. ʻNʼsʼ dialogue with the filmmaker brings about various topics: incidents she faces, her perception of the situation of Egyptian women, and her very personal hopes and fears…
The film recounts the director’s search for a format for telling ʻN’sʼ story – a format that is acceptable within the ever increasing restrictions she faced in creating the film. And it is a reflection on the great strength that Egyptian women develop, facing a male-dominated society that is restrictive and belittling for women. on the great strength that Egyptian women develop, facing a male-dominated society that is restrictive and belittling for women.