Movie Review: AB Shawky’s Yomeddine Definitely Deserves all the Hype And Will Ironically Put a Smile on Your Face!
We at least wrote three articles about Yomeddine to highlight its successes and milestones, but we never got to actually review this piece of art! Even though I attended El Gouna Film Festival, where Yomeddine had its MENA premiere, I didn’t get to watch the movie until I was back in Cairo. I certainly had very high expectations, not only because of the positive reviews I hear from everyone who’ve seen it but also for the huge buzz that the movie had internationally.
If you haven’t been following what the movie has done lately, let me briefly enlighten you. Yomeddine is Egypt’s official submission for the 91st Academy Awards! It competed for the Palme d’Or (the highest prize awarded in Cannes) at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, and won the François Chalais Prize! Moreover, Abu Bakr Shawky, Yomeddine’s Director won Variety’s MENA Talent of the Year Award! Last but not least, the movie won two awards in this year’s El Gouna Film Festival; the Best Narrative Feature and the Cinema for Humanity awards. Throughout the GFF, every single celebrity you’ll ask on the red carpet about their favorite movie will definitely praise Yomeddine, and Abu Bakr Shawky was indeed the man of the hour!
The trailer, buzz, and success of the movie all gave me two impressions before watching the movie; that this movie must be really good or I’ll be super disappointed, and that it’s the saddest movie I’ll see this year. However, from the very first minute of the movie, where you’ll see the funny love-hate relationship between Beshay and Obama, you’ll instantly smile. Throughout the movie, there are some scenes where you’ll cry your heart out; but the bulk of the movie is a beautiful, light comedy adventure that will force you smile, laugh, and love the two main characters.
The movie follows the story of Beshay, a man cured of leprosy, who has never left the leper colony where he has lived since childhood. As he embarks on a journey across Egypt to search for his roots after his wife passed away. With all his possessions strapped to a donkey cart and joined by Obama, an orphan boy he has taken under his wing! The journey, with all its hardships and sorrows, highlights how humanity and its absence can gravely influence the lives of others.
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Yomeddine (judgement day in Arabic) is the day when all will be equal. When scars, disfigurement and appearances no longer matter, the only measure will be who we are. "يوم الدين" هو يوم يتساوى فيه البشر، فلا يفرّق بينهم شكل أو لون بشرة أو مظهر..ويصبح المقياس الأول والأخير…هو جوهرهم.
The beautiful telling of the story will make sure you won’t get bored for a second while watching the movie. In addition to how artistically they present the ideas of acceptance, tolerance, and kindness. Yomeddine didn’t only raise awareness on Leprosy, but definitely changed the lives and way of thinking of thousands of people.
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Every film has a team behind it, and I have to give a special thank you to our publicity team @rawegypt Rania Ehab, Siza Sayed and Ahmed Hosny, and a very special thank you to the not pictured @minanagytakla from @taghreedat taking care of our social media accounts. Thank you for handling our publicity for @yomeddine! We couldn’t have done it without you!