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In Love and Bore: Ruba Nadda’s “Cairo Time”

In Love and Bore: Ruba Nadda’s "Cairo Time"

Canadian writer-director Ruba Nadda’s Cairo Time, like her last feature, Sabah: A Love Story, superficially explores Arab and Western relations on a microcosmic scale, as played out in a romance between a man and woman gazing at one another from across the cultural divide. In this case they’re Tareq (Alexander Siddig) and Juliette (Patricia Clarkson); the former picks up the latter from the airport upon her arrival in Egypt after her husband, Mark (Tom McCamus), is waylaid in Gaza due to his work with the U.N., derailing a long-planned vacation together. For the first third of the film at least, the narrative doesn’t seem as though it’ll follow the expected love story trajectory; rather than plow straight ahead with the forging of the relationship, it wanders in not uninteresting if ultimately facile and unfulfilling ways. Read Kristi Mitsuda’s review of Cairo Time.

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