Winner of the Best Arabic-Language Film award at Cairo International Film Festival, Ahmad Abdalla's Microphone foreshadows the tumultuous events that recently rocked Egypt. The film tells the tale of Khaled (Abol Naga), an Egyptian expat who returns home after years abroad to discover an underground scene filled with talented rappers, rock bands, graffiti artists, and filmmakers. Microphone chronicles Khaled's struggles with an Alexandrian bureaucrat as he tries to produce a concert showcasing local talent while attempting to rekindle a relationship with his ex-girlfriend. Khaled's old lover passively spurns his affections, while the Egyptian official offers Khaled and his artist friends empty promises.
Arabic with English subtitles. 10 p.m. March 4, at Regal Cinemas South Beach (1120 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; 305-674-6766) and 6:30 p.m. March 5, at Bill Cosford Cinema (1111 Memorial Dr., Coral Gables; 305-284-4861; cosfordcinema.com).
Khaled's plight and each of the artists' stories are dramatically told using hand-held shots and documentary-style angles that give the film a rich composition. The first Egyptian movie to win a Golden Tanit at Carthage Film Festival, Microphone is an exceptional film that highlights a people's defiance through music and art and features a stunning Arabic rock and rap soundtrack that reflects an incoming tide of change from a disenfranchised people.