The Dream of Shahrazad

This film is no longer available.

Our music documentary in September was ‘The Dream of Shahrazad’, which was available to watch for free, for all, from anywhere, from September 07 – 21.

Inspired by 1001 Nights, director Francois Verster intricately weaves together strands of music, storytelling, politics and drama in a rich multi-faceted cinematic tapestry. Assembled together to the background of Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov’s symphonic piece of ‘Sheherazade’, this film intricately documents powerful human stories across Egypt, Lebanon and Turkey during the turbulent regional upheavals between 2011 and 2014. This is not a film for the feeble hearted. Yet, it is a masterful musical and visual collage marrying powerful events with an artistic richness intimately portrayed by each and every charming character. 

Masterfully narrated by Lebanese-French actress Darina El Goundi as the voice of Shahrazad, the film features parallel personal stories of captivating figures including: 

  • Ghida Nouri: Lebanese actress and artist 
  • The powerful voice of Egyptian singer Maryam Saleh
  • Hassan El-Geretly: Director of El Warsha Theatre Company in Egypt 
  • Arfa Abdel Rassoul: master storyteller
  • Prominent artistic figureheads: the Arabian Knightz, Ramy Essam, Hani El-Masri and Abeer Soliman 
  • Cem Mansur: conductor of the Turkish National Youth Philharmonic Orchestra

Kaleidoscopic images veer between demonstrators and musicians, as they bring viewers into the most intimate corners of Cairo where footage from the Arab Revolution, the beauty of music and arts are juxtaposed with scenes of masses, upheavals and violence.


This screening was brought to you in collaboration with Al Balad TheaterAmman Jazz FestivalArabesquesKhalil Sakakini Cultural Center, Mosaic Rooms, OrangeRed and WAW al Balad.