With "Cairo Drive," documentarian Sherief Elkatsha finds an unusual route into the atmosphere before, during and after the Arab Spring protests at Tahrir Square -- by showing the revolt's effect on Cairo's chaotic pressure-cooker of a traffic system.
Elkatsha spends much of the doc embedded in cars, trucks, ambulances and buses -- interviewing drivers of varying skill and wealth as they attempt to navigate an exhausting, nearly anarchic system of wrong-way drivers, heedless pedestrians, coded horn-honks, arbitrary laws and outright bribery helping bring societal tensions to the boiling point. (And that's before the protests start and the police directing traffic around Tahrir Square are apparently replaced by citizen volunteers.) In Elkatsha's editing bay, the frustrations of traffic become a potent metaphor for a nation's much-larger frustrations.
(Egypt; 77 min.) Grade: B-plus. Showtimes:
- 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9, World Trade Center Theater
- 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, World Trade Center Theater