Cairo Time

Patricia Clarkson is a consummate actress, and she crafts something artful and ardent out of this fragile romance. Clarkson's Juliette is a Canadian magazine editor — her kids have flown the nest – in Cairo for the first time to meet up with her husband, Mark (Tom McCamus). The plan is that Mark will break with his U.N. duties so the two can see the Pyramids. But the situation is volatile at a Gaza refugee camp. So Mark puts Juliette in the hands of his handsome Egyptian colleague Tareq (the excellent Alexander Siddig).

Just when you think you know what's coming, the canny writer-director Ruba Nadda (Sabah) makes sure you won't. Nadda lets the sensuous tempos of Cairo life seep into Juliette's system, and ours. It's a haunting and hypnotic film. And Clarkson's sublimely nuanced performance is in every way transporting.

From The Archives Issue 154: February 14, 1974
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