The Tentmakers of Cairo: Art, Life and Politics
The 36th Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) closing ceremony was held on the 18 November. Within the festival theme, the “Industry Forum” was held between 11 and 17 November at the Open Air Theatre in Cairo Opera House. ‘The Tentmakers of Cairo’ is the title of a feature documentary by Kim Beamish, that was screened as “Work in Progress” at the festival.
It all started when Bridget, Beamish’s wife, took a job in Cairo. In April 2012, Kim and Bridget along with their son and daughter touched down at Cairo airport with a sense of excitement, confusion and some anxiety about the future, but overall they were looking forward to the next three years.
His documentary does not merely cite the history of Cairo’s famous tentmakers, their art and work. Beamish has delved deeply into the tentmakers’ lives, and how they have experienced the past three years and how recent history has affected their work.
For Beamish, the tentmakers themselves represent what is really Egypt. Away from the noisy streets, political infighting, religious struggles and the things that can become “unbearable” about this country, he tries to show how these men show the true Egypt.