Still Alive

- A movie by Pauline Beugnies-

In today’s Egypt, the youth’s aspirations for freedom are being caught between el-Sisi’s iron hand and the very necessity to live. Still Alive draws an intimate portrait of an emerging generation, its political commitment and shattered dreams.

Pitch

Revolution, where are you? In today’s Egypt, the youth’s aspirations for freedom are being caught between el Sisi’s iron hand and the very necessity to live. Four young Egyptians, who participated in the uprising in 2011, take a look at their own past and share their feelings about their current situation.

What life could be like in this context of violent repression and nationalist propaganda, after this unprecedented momentum of freedom? What legacy - or burden – to carry on for this youth who was at the forefront of the revolt? Still Alive draws an intimate portrait of an emerging generation, its political commitment and shattered dreams.

Characters

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SOLEYFA

The story of Khaled Saïd, a young Alexandrian who was beaten up to death by the police in June 2010 acted as a brain wave for Soleyfa who then entered into politics, with the pro-democratic movement Justice and Freedom. On the Tahrir square, Soleyfa found the love of her life, Hossam. Today she feels torn. She became a mother and lost some of her revolutionary ardour, as she doesn’t want to expose her son to any danger. Soleyfa didn’t quit her risky profession of journalist, though.

EMAN

In Eman’s family, everybody is a Muslim Brother. But, at 18 years old, she claimed her independency and refused to vote Ikhwan, the Brothers, as did the rest of the family. She opted for Tayyar el masri, a brand new party, founded by former Muslim Brothers disappointed by the Brotherhood’s opacity, lack of openness and rigidity. The coup of the 3rd July 2013, which led to Morsi’s destitution, put a brutal end to Eman’s ambitions. She fled to Kuwait, and after a brief come back in Egypt to give birth to a son, she’s now living in Qatar.

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KIRILOS

In the city of Qena, Upper Egypt, where he lives with his family, Kirilos only heard distant clamours, largely sweetened by media anti-revolutionary discourse. He was tempted to join the processions, though. As the overwhelming majority of his coreligionists, he refrained himself, but dared to question the Church’s position. He didn’t applaud Muslim Brotherhood’s coming to power, but he left them the benefit of the doubt. A year of Brotherhood ruling drastically reduced his hopes for dialogue. Today the young graduated is focusing on his career of pharmaceutical sales representative.

AMMAR

Ammar is a permanent revolutionary, against any military dictatorship, any theological regime and conversely. Before getting caught up by his revolutionary ardour, this graffiti artist was a teacher at the Fine Arts academy of Luxor. Ammar is one of the few Egyptians who refused to hear the sirens of the army after July 2013’s coup. In defiance of danger, he keeps on exposing his critics on the walls of central Cairo.

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Writer/ Director

Pauline Beugnies (1982) is a Belgian documentarist and photographer, co-founder of the photo collective "Out of Focus". Her work led her, among others, to Bangladesh, Albania and Egypt, where she lived for five years. She started following young Egyptian activists as
from 2009. In 2011, she received a grant from the Belgian Journalism Fund for a photography project on the Egyptian youth, which she has been pursuing it in different artistic forms since then: the web documentary Sout El Shabab (The voice of youth) in 2012, a photo serie Génération Tahrir, exhibited in France and Belgium, and published in a book edited by Le Bec en l’Air editions in January 2016, and Still Alive, Pauline’s
first feature-length documentary. In September 2016, she received the Camille Lepage award to continue her work on Egypt. www.paulinebeugnies.com

Sound engineer

Marion Guénard (1982) was born in Compiègne, France. After a master's degree in literature at Paris 4 and journalism studies at the Journalists Training Center (CFJ), she moved to Egypt in 2007 to teach journalism to young French-speaking Egyptians at Cairo University. She decided to stay there, learn Arabic and become a local correspondent for several French-language media. His work has been published in Le Monde, Libération, Le Figaro, Les Inrockuptibles and broadcast on Radio France and Radio Suisse Romande. Today based in Amman, Jordan, she works on documentary, radio and written projects in various countries, from Lebanon to Senegal and Paris. In November 2016, she obtained a grant from the Institut français to write her first novel, inspired by the Egyptian revolution.

Producer

Laurence Buelens (1981) has founded Rayuela Productions in 2014. Rayuela’s aim is to produce films that multiply the viewpoints and let new visions emerge within the public. Just like the Argentinian writer Julio Cortázar did with its masterpiece that inspired its name... Laurence is a Belgian producer graduated from journalism, international politics and cinema schools.

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