“Cairo is an essay in entropy…but order
is nevertheless maintained, if barely.”
-- Maria Golia, Cairo: City of Sands
Cairo, Egypt. 20 million people. 23,600 miles of road. Two
million cars. Taxis, buses, donkey carts, and swarms of
people, all jockeying to move through the obstacle course
that is their daily lives. Sitting at a cultural intersection,
Cairo is a city unlike any other, where different faiths,
races, and social classes all share a few clogged arteries of
Cairo traffic is a chaotic experience where rules are constantly
challenged: an elaborate dance of leading and following,
flow and resistance, and impeccable, almost miraculous
“Cairo Drive” is a documentary that explores the life of
one of the world’s most populated cities—from its streets.
Shot in 2009-2012 (before and during the Egyptian revolution,
and ending with the most recent presidential elections),
the film explores the country’s collective identity,
inherent struggles, and the sentiments that lead through
the historic changes taking place in Egypt today.
For years, Egypt has told two story lines: the official propaganda,
and the reality on the streets. Nowhere is this
clearer than on the roadways. The times have changed,
the traffic has not.
For his third documentary, Egyptian/American filmmaker
Sherief Elkatsha rides through the congested streets alongside
a diverse cast of characters—from taxi drivers to ambulances,
from traffic cops to private citizens—capturing
the unspoken codes of conduct, frustrations, humor, fatalism,
and life-or-death decisions of driving in a city where
the only rule is: there are no rules.