Fathi Nofal Imam, an unknown but no-nonsense attorney with a taste for liquor and loose women, is assigned to take a case related to one of the local politicians. The story centers on his representation of Samira, a woman up on prostitution charges. His opponent is the Islamist lawyer Ali and both of them face a stern Muslim judge. Despite formidable obstacles, the clever Imam is able to work the crooked justice system and use religion to free Samira, after which he becomes a personal adviser for the local politician.
Outwardly presented as a light comedy, the film contains serious dramatic undertones that can be taken as a condemnation of corrupt politics and religious extremism. Written by Midhat Eladl and starring the popular Egyptian actor Adel Emam and the famous actress Youssra. Featured at the 1995 Cairo International Film Festival.
According to Andrew Hammond, author of Popular Culture in the Arab World, “In 1995 Egyptian actress Yousra was taken to court over a scene in Tuyur al-zalam (‘Birds of Darkness’) because her bare legs offended an Islamist fundamentalist sheikh, Yousef al-Bardri.” Known for pushing the boundaries of Egyptian cinema, director Sherif Arafa has said of this film: “The idea of terrorism and the government that’s in Tuyur Al-Zalam (Birds of Darkness) had to be expressed at the time. We were not just talking about the ‘opportunists’ of terrorism, there were government opportunists as well, and they are both equally dangerous. And both are terrorists. And the conflict between them will ruin the country. So be careful.”
764MB | 1h 51mn | 704×432 | mkv