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“A film of great allegorical force...Cannes’ Un Certain Regard opening night film, Clash takes the well-trodden territory of Egypt's political woes and transforms it into cinema of rare mastery...”

Melbourne International Film Festival

Cairo, Summer 2013 - two years after the Egyptian revolution and in the wake of the ousting of pro-Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, Egyptians across the political and religious divide once again take to the streets.

As demonstrations escalate, a disparate group of ordinary Egyptians, activists, militants and members of the media are rounded up and confined to a police van, which becomes the claustrophobic setting of the film.

Director Mohamed Diab initially wanted to make a film about the 2011 Egyptian revolution; history conspired to change the dramatic focus of the film he eventually made into one that captures the fall of a revolution. Diab also drew inspiration from real-life stories of journalists and photographers imprisoned in the wake of the July 2013 coup, particularly those of Al Jazeera correspondent (and Peter Greste colleague) Mohamed Fahmy and freelance photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid. 

Director of photography Ahmed Gabr’s frenetic handheld camerawork conveys the harrowing unpredictability of the captives’ experience and in the stifling setting of the van, the political is given a personal perspective.

Screens in Arabic with English subtitles 

Virginia Trioli, co host of ABC TV’s News Breakfast, will moderate an In Conversation with correspondent and journalist Peter Greste via Skype following the 6 pm screening of CLASH on Thursday 6 April.