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The Yacoubian Building Review

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An epic amalgam of stories set in contemporary Cairo.

★★★★

Marwan Hamed’s directorial debut is the most expensive picture ever produced in Egypt. It’s an epic amalgam of interweaving stories that suggests the mood of contemporary Cairo as effortlessly as the eponymous edifice symbolises the nation’s stately decline.

Touching on everything from corruption to Islamic fundamentalism, it’s splendidly played by Adel Imam, as the chauvinist who gives the impoverished Hend Sabri a taste of human kindness; Nour El-Sherif, as the devout politician who has secretly married a second wife; and Khaled El Sawy, as the gay newspaper editor besotted with a macho soldier.

Consistently compelling.

Splendidly played and constantly compelling.