Currently competing for the Palme d’or in Cannes Film Festival is the Egyptian movie After the Battle directed by Yousry Nasrallah. Movie synopsis:
Mahmoud (played by Bassem Samra) was one of the horsemen coerced by lowly henchmen for Mubarak's regime into carrying out attacks on protesters in Tahrir Square on February 2, 2011. He has since lost his job. Humiliated and ostracized, he lives near the Pyramids with his wife and sons. His family is on the brink of despair when he meets Reem, a secular Egyptian divorcee who works in advertising (played by Menna Shalaby). She is a fervent revolutionary who lives in a wealthy Cairo neighborhood. Theirs is the encounter of two people, but also of two different worlds.
In an interview with the New York Times, Nasrallah, a Coptic Christian, said “Many Copts are very conservative. They would rather have a military regime than take risks. But the military failed and we should choose democracy.”
The New York Times liked the movie “He has made a bold film, a personal and political film, with characters from different cultures crossing boundaries.” On the other hand, The Guardian reviewed the movie and found it "long, hard trudge". Excerpts below:
Veteran director Yousry Nasrallah makes a melodrama out of a crisis in After the Battle, a film hewn from the headlines of the Egyptian revolution that crash-lands in the Cannes competition on the basis of its urgent topicality, a heart-on-sleeve narrative, and not a whole lot else. Try as I might, I can't see it troubling the judges.
It's a film that touches intriguingly on issues relating to class, bourgeois hypocrisy, and the position of women in Egyptian society, but none of these themes are ever fully developed. Most crucially, its inhabitants are rarely allowed to become more than mouthpieces, or socio-economic stereotypes.