OH MY OH AGAMI played to rave reviews at the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film Festival in January 2016.
OH MY OH AGAMI, 4min, Egypt, Documentary/Poetry
Directed by Hani R. Eskander
A visual poem depicting a life of an Agami resident who reminisces his childhood amidst the ongoing destruction and illegal construction.
Movie Review by Amanda Lomonaco:
I’m often skeptical of poetic cinema, in the same way that I’m often skeptical of overly “artsy” cinema. Although I have found many that I have enjoyed and appreciated, I’m all too aware that these films can often go one of two ways. Oh My Oh Agami is definitely one of the winners.
Despite not being able to understand what was being said in the film without the assistance of the subtitles, I could certainly appreciate the lovely intonations and rhyming sounds I was able to pick up. One of the great advantages of poetic cinema is that it opens up the meanings and rythmns of poetry in different languages, in a way that the written form cannot. It opens access to a whole world of literature that would otherwise be completely locked to those who do not speak the language.
What’s more Oh My Oh Agami opens up a world and concept that are almost completely foreign to North Americans, and others in the developed world. To most of us, the concept of illegal building seems almost impossible. How could anyone ever build an entire building without the city or government legally allowing them to do it? It’s difficult for us to grasp how some countries and governments can have so few resources that they are not able to enforce the law in any way, or where they are so easily bribed for want of accountability.
Hani R Eskander’s film immerses us in Egyptian culture through everything from its imagery, to its phonetic beauty, to its harsh realities. He both satiates and entices our wanderlust by bringing us into his world, and teaching us more about his day to day life. Through his poetic words and imagery, Eskander captures the true meaning of the concept of “show don’t tell,” playing into his audience’s curiosity.
Oh My Oh Agami is truly a beautiful film, and a powerful statement against illegal building in Egypt. If nothing else it’s worth a watch purely for the eye-opening experience it provides. This film is for the philanthropist, the traveller, and the environmentalist in all of us. It is a truly gorgeously made short film that deserves our attention, even if only for four short minutes.
Watch the AUDIENCE FEEDBACK Festival of the Short Film: