This compelling tale of love and betrayal, set in the upper Egyptian countryside, follows the story of Amna as she plots her revenge on the engineer who destroyed her family's honor.
This is a wonderful Egyptian film that the average Western audience never gets an opportunity to see. It's really a shame as the movie gives so much insight into the culture and the story, though very "foreign" features some characters you can easily relate to an care for.
The film is a great film that shows the clash between very conservative Islamic values and traditions and those of a more modern Moslem world. This clash is extremely poignant and seems to illustrate that the spirit of the law and tradition is much more important that the traditions themselves.
The film begins with a woman and her two adult daughters finding out that the father is murdered. It seems that this man was committing adultery and someone took it upon themselves to punish him. However, instead of just punishing him and being done with it, the family Patriarch (the uncle) tells the women they must leave the village and fend for themselves! It ISN'T because they did anything wrong, but that they would be a reminder of the man's infidelity. So, in his twisted thinking, he cast these women out with no regard to their future just so the family APPEARS good and just to outsiders!! The ladies appear fortunate when they arrive at a far-off town because the two youngest are able to get jobs as maids. However, the oldest daughter is eventually seduced (or possibly raped) by her employer and the family. The mother is extremely upset by this and contacts the patriarch to ask for his assistance. The "kindly" uncle agrees to take them back to the original village, but on the way, he murders the "fallen sister"! The inequity of her death and the employer never being punished is a major theme of the film. While some in the male-dominated society might approve of this, the unjustness of the murder is definitely called into question. And, since no one seems to care, the youngest daughter, Amna, decides to run from her Uncle's home and find the older sister's ex-employer and exact justice! All this occurs just in the first half of the movie! The rest is the slowly unfolding of Amna's revenge and the unexpected twists and turns the plot takes along the way. And, fortunately, this is NOT a by-the-numbers movie--it is definitely NOT predictable or written for a dumb audience! This is an exceptionally well written, acted and directed film. In addition, the cinematography is exquisite. The only down side, and this is a very minor quibble, is that the music is a bit "tinny".