FEATHERS OF A FATHER

by Omar El Zohairy
Egypt / France

When an abusive Egyptian patriarch turns into a chicken, his family slowly and painfully becomes free.

Synopsis

When a magician’s trick goes wrong at 6-year-old Mando’s birthday party, an avalanche of coincidental absurdities befall the boy’s family.
The magician turns Sami, the authoritative Egyptian father, into a chicken and fails to bring him back. The mysterious transformation of the father sets the family off to a tragically funny adventure of self-discovery to survive without the patriarch. Rasha, the passive mother, is suddenly responsible for the family. She slowly transforms into a strong independent woman. Ramadan, the teenage son, goes on a journey to discover himself and his sexuality. At the end he realizes that he can be a man without walking in his father’s footsteps. Mando struggles without his father but finds solace in his older brother. When the father comes back as an invalid, he is more of a burden. His long-awaited return is nothing but disappointment. The family learns that life is possible without a dictator as a leader.

Director – Bio

Omar El Zohairy studied at the Cairo’s Cinema Institute and worked as an assistant director alongside some of Egypt’s most awarded filmmakers, including Nasrallah. Zohairy’s short film Breathe Out premiered at the 8th Dubai International Film Festival and won the Jury Special Mention Prize. His second short film The Aftermath of the Inauguration of the Public Toilet at Kilometer 375, was the first Egyptian film to be selected for the Cannes Cinefondation. The film went on to win awards worldwide. Zohairy is working on his first feature Feathers of a Father. The project was awarded the Baumi Development Award.

Director – Intention

When an Egyptian family loses its patriarch, they would do almost anything to survive in his absence; but with an oppressive society they have to go through a long painful journey to be free. The transformation of the father into a chicken in the story works on two levels. It is a poignantly funny story about family and society. Also, the allegory in the tale is a direct attack on a patriarchal society where the father is a dictator. Do Egyptians need a pharaoh/dictator? Why did they waste the golden opportunity to create their own democracy only to bring back the military junta? The film’s effectiveness is in the details and the authenticity of the environment and its inhabitants. I am planning to cast real-life characters in most of the roles. Real locations that are in a state of decay will be a testament to the state of the nation. Visually, the picture will be an image that is very close to reality; unembellished, raw, violent. These elements will be used together to create absurd hyper real situations to tell the story of this family in post-revolution Egypt.