“Traffic equalizes the plain field; everyone is at the same stage”
After seeing Cairo Drive I have to say now I consider myself somewhat more knowledgeably towards the driving in Cairo.
The direction Sherief Elkatsha took in the movie was different but at the same time one of the best ways to do it. As he mentioned on the Q&A after the film, doing the film from the car was much easier because people would talk about everything behind a wheel. They were hesitant to begin with and only wanted to talk about driving, but once they were on the road, the stress and anger got them talking about all different topics. In my opinion this is a very tactical way to do it which allowed Sherief Elkatsha to obtain much more information than if he would have just placed a camera in front of the interviewees.
When you see the way people drove before and after the Revolution you can notice a big change, especially because before the driving in Cairo was ruled by corruption; as the government prohibited trucks in certain areas during some hours, but the truck drivers would bribe the police to let them in. Another common action was using bribe to get the driving license.
This all kind of changed when the revolution came as a great amount of regulation was enforced and the driving license were checked at every corner. However, as I mentioned, it only kind of changes because not all rules where adapted to this new way of living and if you don’t change the rules from the top of the hierarchy then the change won’t be successful throughout the society.
Now I understand why the film was made in Cairo, as Sherief Elkatsha said; “there is no bubble”, everyone shares everything, it is a very communal environment and collectivistic culture where everyone passes everything around. In the film there are a few shots which show this, as you can see how two people are on the motorbike riding side by side talking and how people pass things from one car to another. In the Q&A he also mentioned how he had filmed how a man passed a cup of tea to another man in a different car.