Movie Forums Top 100 of the 2010s - Group Watch

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Nomination #5

Clash (2016, Mohamed Diab)

Deadline to Watch It: September 29

Nominated By: cricket

I have a very long watchlist for this countdown, so I'm trying to watch the movies that have the best chance of making my list first. This doesn't sound like my type of movie, so I probably won't watch it this week, but I might watch it before submitting my list.
If I answer a game thread correctly, just skip my turn and continue with the game.

Well, I watched it.

Clash (Eshtebak) (Mohamed Diab, 2016)

I'm not really sure how to feel about this film. It focuses on a group of people arrested during the protests and violence that erupted after the ousting of President Morsi in Egypt. It takes place entirely inside of a police truck where people from both sides of the conflict, as well as people from neither side, are trapped together. It is packed with tension, chaos, and claustrophobia. It shows how easily people let go of their humanity and see only an enemy in another person and how much they allow themselves to be blinded by their political and religious ideals. But it also shows some moments where the subjects put aside those conflicts and treat each other as equals.

But those more peaceful moments are all too fleeting and the tension and violence are relentless and all too real. It's an important story and its lessons can be applied to conflicts here in our own lives, but as a film it's just... a lot to take in. That said, I have no regrets about watching it but it is not something I ever wish to see again.

And now I think I'll find something a little more cheery to watch before I go to bed.

Sounds like I need to make time for this one tonight. It sounds pretty great from MV’s review. I will take a link and be a cheap bastard.

Sounds like I need to make time for this one tonight. It sounds pretty great from MV’s review. I will take a link and be a cheap bastard.

Just finished watching Clash, and I really dug it. In spite of having so many characters in such a confined setting, it remained easy to follow and juggled focus between all of them relatively well. I didn't think the film focused too much attention on a specific person, nor did I think it focused too little attention on another (I'm curious how I'd respond to the film if it had several less characters though). I also think the film maintained a good atmosphere of claustrophobia; shooting everything, including the action, from the perspective of inside the truck worked really well at making you feel just as trapped as the characters were. Finally, the film is also coupled with a compelling anti-war message since the various rioters could potentially get along with each other just fine in the right setting, as we see from the people in the van throughout the film. Overall, just a very well-done film. I don't know if it'll make my ballot, but I might consider it in the long run. Aside from my nomination, it's my favorite film I've seen in this thread so far.

Not going to get to Clash in time but the reviews have me really wanting to see it so I will definitely check it out before the countdown.

Watched it last night. Could easily have been a play. Has that old school theatre thing to it.

It was a smart way to show this subject. I just wish it had less shouting, and more quieter interactions amongst its subjects. Those moments were little. We also don't dig deeper into the people's lives.

It was filmed exceptionally well, considering much of it unfolds inside the van. You do feel a sense of claustrophobia after a while. I also liked the few metaphors it put out. Like conflicts on the inside, etc. Overall it gives us a nice peek into Egyptian culture and dynamics. This being my only second Egyptian feature, after watching the series Paranormal.

In terms of the acting Nelly Karim was the pick for me.
Thanks for the recommendation @cricket

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Unfortunately, I couldn't watch Clash these days. I continue trying to find it.
"Population don't imitate art, population imitate bad television." W.A.
"You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." M.T.

Clash, 2016

During the heated political protests in Egypt in 2012/2013, two journalists are thrown into the back of a military detention truck. Many other protesters, both Muslim Brotherhood or on the side of the army, soon join them. As the group endures sweltering heat and hostility from within and without the truck, a tentative collaboration forms between the opposing factions with a common humanity building fragile threads between the prisoners.

I'm absolutely a sucker for a single-location film, and while that's not strictly what this is (the police truck moves from location to location several times during the film), the sense of claustrophobia is strongly evoked by keeping the camera confined to the interior of the truck.

The performances are all good, and the characters feel very lived in. Nilli Karim is a standout as a nurse who is trapped in the truck with her husband and her teenage child. Her story parallels a man who is in the truck with his teenage daughter, Aisha.

There are a lot of movies where ostensible enemies become allies in a fight for survival. Something that I appreciated about this film was the way that it acknowledged that the tentative peace that comes from such a situation is, at best, temporary. The people in the truck set aside their differences when pushed tot he bottom of the hierarchy of needs, but when it comes time to get rescued, each side is suddenly back to shouting their slogans. Unfortunately for them, the mob mentality around them is entirely "us or them," and the nuance of a truck full of different ideologies doesn't translate.

I think that the movie is at its best when it gives us little moments of connection between the characters. I particularly liked a scene where Karim's character cares for a man who has cut his mouth by carrying a razor blade in it. As he reveals his motivation for being at the protest, something not actually political, it provides a surprising point of connection with another young man in the truck.

I did find myself flagging a bit toward the end. I kind of wish that the cast had been a little smaller. There were a lot of characters to keep track of and political affiliations to follow. In a weird way it's a tribute to the film that I was getting antsy in the last 30 minutes. I was ready to be out of that van and I was just watching from the safety of my living room!

Not a film whose title I'd ever heard of, and I'm glad I got a chance to watch it.

Let the night air cool you off
Sorry for the tardiness. I sent in my choice. It's an offbeat choice, for sure, but I genuinely love it. There's more heart and love put into this film than films that cost a billion dollars to make. It's action-packed, it's funny, and if you love filmmakers that love making films, then you'll find a way to enjoy this film.

Just watched the trailer and it.... uh... looks, interesting? I guess. WTF?

I don't go back to work until Monday so I'll try to fit it in.