A new mother struggles with parenthood, adjusting to life with an imprisoned husband, and her own mental health, in Hisham Saqr’s delicate debut feature.
In the bustling Egyptian capital of Cairo, Hala is barely coping. Life is constantly hurtling forward just outside of her front door, but she's trapped inside her own mind. She's battling with the pressures of being a new mother, still mourning the passing of her father, and grappling with dark thoughts. Hisham Saqr's debut feature begins here, immersed in Hala's isolated world as she tries to connect with her child, with her husband, and, ultimately, with herself.
Hala's life is thrown into further chaos when her caring husband is caught up in a bureaucratic nightmare. Without her rock, she's forced to navigate the world alone while trying to get him out of jail. Pressures continue to mount, as she must carry a burden she's not sure she can bear; even her closest friendship is beginning to show signs of strain. But one day, she finds a mysterious letter, that, when opened, offers her a new perspective on her spinning thoughts.
Egyptian star Basma (seen at TIFF in 2017's Sheikh Jackson and 2018's EXT. Night) steps into the part of Hala with utter conviction, portraying a young woman dealing with mental health issues in a society that doesn't recognize her struggles. With a delicate, observational tone, Saqr explores the growth of this complicated character with compassion.