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Egypt's Modern Pharaohs

Fall Grant 2012 - Production Stage
Current project status: COMPLETED

Jihan El Tahri / Feature Documentary / Egypt, France, United States of America, Qatar / 2014 / 173 min / Colour and B&W / Original Language: Arabic, English


On January 25, 1952, downtown Cairo was burnt down: angry mobs demanded the departure of British colonial military rule and called for ‘bread, freedom and social justice’. Fifty-nine years later to the day, the same anger was displayed, the same slogan brandished – but this time against Egypt’s elected president. For six decades, Egypt’s post-colonial leaders forged a system that harnessed military and religious powers, struck a delicate balance in foreign relations and muzzled a complacent civil society. What led the docile Egyptians to mass revolt? How were the promising ideals of the 1952 revolution hijacked? What led to the total breakdown of social justice and political freedom?


Jihan El Tahri
Jihan El Tahri
Karim Boutros Ghali

About the Director

Jihan El Tahri is an Egyptian and French national who began her career as a journalist. Between 1984 and 1990, she worked as a news agency correspondent and TV researcher. In 1990, she began directing and producing documentaries. Since then, El Tahri has directed more than a dozen films, including the Emmy-nominated ‘The House of Saud’ (2005); ‘The Price of Aid’ (2004), which won the European Media prize; and ‘Cuba: An African Odyssey’ (2008), which won awards in France, Canada, Angola and Venezuela. Her most recent documentary is ‘Behind the Rainbow’ (2008), about the ANC’s transition from liberation army to governing party in South Africa.

Production Company Profile

Created in 2004 by documentary director Jihan El Tahri, Big Sister is an independent film production company specialising in documentaries about politics, history and social matters affecting countries in Africa and the Middle East. Big Sister’s objective is to underline cultural diversity in the audiovisual field. Based in Europe, the company aims to create a platform for co-operation with professionals from Africa, the Middle East, etc. It helps veteran directors extend their body of work and supports upcoming talent from Europe, America and Africa. Having extensive experience in international documentary production, El Tahri has built strong working relationships with leading European and international broadcasters.


  • Main Contact

    Karim Boutros Ghali

    +33 9 5279 5870

Questions regarding this project?


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