‘Another Night on Earth’ Shows the Diversity of Egyptian Society

Published: 10 July 2013

Region: Egypt, Cairo

taxi1A taxi, a driver and passengers are the main three elements of the documentary ‘Another Night on Earth’ that tells the story of ordinary Egyptians that debate and argue about the present and future of the country since the Revolution. An uprising that continues more alive than ever after the last protests that let the army to take over, oust the President Mohammed Morsi and dissolve the Parliament.

The documentary with the explicit reference to the Jim Jarmusch’s film, captures the opinions of the passengers through conversations in taxis reflecting the diversity of Egyptian society in the midst of the revolution.

“All kind of people got onto the taxis, big families, women, men who talked about different topics: politics, religion, social problems such as unemployment, education and health. My aim was to focus on the problems of ordinary Egyptians and stay away from the mainstream media discourse”, explains the director of the film, David Muñoz, during an interview for MDI website.

In total 70 taxi journeys were shot. In one of them, the taxi driver argues with two women who wear a niqab about the protests in Tahrir Square. While the driver criticised the impatience of the protesters that cannot wait for results, the women defended them “Nobody wants to wait now, they want it all now, because of the lies and deceptions they have seen since birth. The government never does what they say”.

Despite the film was shot from May to September 2011, the same dialogues can be heard today in the streets of Egypt. One of the passengers affirmed, “If there is a new President and he makes a new Constitution, and we are not convinced, we will carry on the protests. If there is no change, we will force him to resign”.

The 52 min documentary reflects some of the problems of the Egyptian society as gender inequality. A man passenger tells the driver who is a woman that he does not agree with women driving taxis and she should be at home. It shows the sexist and patriarchal social structure in Egypt but also how other people, such as the woman taxi driver, challenge the established system.

The director defends the use of documentary as one of the best platforms to reflect the reality and the diversity of the opinions within a society. “It is important to have a variety of platforms apart from the media to understand what happens in the world. The documentaries are a key to include different voices that helps to bring diversity in sources and opinions”, affirms Muñoz.

‘Another night on Earth’ has been screened across the world from Turkey, to Morocco, United States and Russia and it has won 18 Film Festival Awards.