2020 Cannes Palm d'Or winner "I am Afraid to Forget Your Face-Setasher" touches upon a sensitive issue of a love relationship between a young couple. Between love, tracing the lover's voice, departure, despair, death, and distance; it embraces the audience with stormy emotions and captivating shivers.
The 11-minute film portrays the meaning of the man's journey in life, in other words, it traces the concept of the journey physically and spiritually.
The physical journey is represented in Adam's (Seif Hemada) trip to bid farewell to his departed lover. This scene reflects real feelings of sorrow and missing. It also depicts the title of the film when he stayed some moments before his dead lover (Nourhan Ahmed) gazing at her face as he is trying to memorize them to not forget them due to time.
The same feelings were showed by the girl before her death at the beginning of the film when he listens to a voice note sent by her, revealing how much she misses him, how much she wants to see him, and how much she can't hold on to this departure.
The spiritual is highlighted in the inner conflict between death and life, black and white, reality and imagination, lover and society.
The protagonist beats the social code stereotyped the Egyptian man that he shouldn't cry, or he shouldn't follow his emotions. He insisted to object all these cold and soulless talks and dressing in a women's customs to see his dead companion for a final time.
The final scene expresses mesmerizing sorrow as Ahmed Dash, the actor, emotionally delivers the character's real pain and broken heart through a 5-second scene.
"I am Afraid to Forget Your Face" sheds light on several real-life scenes from the Egyptian society as it follows the rule of the more local you, the more universal you film becomes as celebrated director Javier Fuentes-León expressed in his talk to the Egyptian press few days before the 42nd Cairo International Film Festival.
It is not one of the participants at the Cinema of Tomorrow competition for short films, however, the film was screened today at the CIFF.
Directed by Sameh Alaa, it starring Seif Hemeda and Nourhan Ahmed. It is one of the earliest acting experiences for both.