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Friday, 17 March 2023

African soldiers under French colonialism + Egyptian food that rivals your grandma’s


The untold story of African soldiers fighting for France in World War I: French-Senegalese war drama film Tirailleurs (Father and Soldier, in English) spotlights a historically overlooked aspect of World War I — the African riflemen who fought for the French as colonial troops. The film, directed by Mathieu Vadepied, follows Bakary — played by Lupin actor Omar Sy — who voluntarily enlists in the French forces to protect his son, who was abducted and thrown into the war.

The film follows a classic war film format, with plenty of immersive shots and sound design, Harper Oreck writes for The Harvard Crimson. Vadepied subverts this format by making the African soldiers — previously overlooked — the focus of the film. He also offers a critique of the sacrificial narratives propagated during times of war by showing the indoctrination that happens on the battlefield through the storyline of Bakary’s son, Birama.

WHERE TO WATCH IT- The film will be showing in Zawya Cinema today and until Tuesday, 21 March.


This techno-thriller unfolds on a computer screen: June, played by Storm Reid, of Euphoria fame, resorts to online resources to track and find her mother (Nia Long), who goes missing while on vacation with her new boyfriend. The whole movie is filmed as though it’s a shared screen, viewed primarily through June’s laptop, giving the audience almost intrusive insight into June’s relationships. Coincidentally, this setup is very cost-friendly, with production only costing USD 7 mn, allowing the movie to earn just over six times its budget.

Acting almost as a foil to the cautionary tales presented in productions like Black Mirror or more recently M3GAN, this unexpectedly engaging thriller pays homage to the younger generation’s digital dexterity and shows how valuable a tool technology really is.

WHERE TO WATCH IT- You can go see it at VOX Cinemas at Almaza City Center and Mall of Egypt as well as Arkan, but this time, we will uncharacteristically recommend watching it on your laptop if you have access to Prime Video US. It’s more captivating to feel the movie is unfolding on your own screen.


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is an international sensation. Taylor Jenkins Reid’s bestselling 2017 novel has caused waves in bookstores and on BookTok. The narrative sees Old Hollywood starlet Evelyn Hugo choosing an unaccomplished journalist with no career prospects to report her final interview, in which she spills the tea about her peers, the industry, her seven marriages, and even the interviewer.

Production companies have been vying for the film rights to the book after its success, with Netflix ultimately snagging them. Since Netflix is infamous for bad live-action adaptations, their announcement last year was met with online outrage from fans, who don’t trust the platform to do the book justice. The book’s full length will definitely be difficult to cover in the span of one 90-minute movie, and fans argue that a mini-series dedicating an episode to each of Evelyn’s husbands would deliver a more faithful adaptation.

WHERE TO GET IT- Rumors that the streaming platform has quietly pulled the brakes on the project are just more reason to buy the book, which you can do at Diwan or Alef.



WONDERING WHERE TO HAVE YOUR FIRST IFTAR? At the risk of starting a war, Hagoga makes Egyptian food that rivals your grandma’s. Despite having 500k+ likes and almost 1 mn followers on their Facebook page, you might have not heard of this unbelievably good and surprisingly affordable restaurant. You really can’t miss regardless of what you order, but the absolute must-haves are the Roz Me’ammar (which comes with a generous dollop of eshta on top), the Tarb, and, if you’re brave, Tagin El Hagg, followed by a shot of the complimentary Whiskey El Ghalaba. Hagoga does not offer any desserts, but we’ve found that adding sugar to the Roz Me’ammar is sinfully delicious (trust us).

Head there early if you want a table right away: Located at the Madfaia Garden near Sheraton El Mattar, the restaurant is fairly large — but the demand is so high that they provide seating for those waiting in line. They don’t take reservations, so we recommend that you try to get there before 4pm. Even though delivery isn’t an option, you can order your meal to-go. But if you’re going to be there anyway, you might as well dine-in for the full Hagoga experience.

???? Per person: EGP 150-300

???? Alcohol? No

???? Outdoor seating? Yes

???? Accessibility friendly? Yes

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