Sarah Abdallah: “All too human”

With her 22 years old, Sarah Abdallah surprised the audience of the 11th Independent Film Festival for New Shorts by Goethe Institute with her film ‘All too human’, that tackled an idea that we have never seen before in any film. The film, Sarah’s graduation project, is about a guy who wants to apply a theory that requires people who have no influence on the society to be eaten by others who are more talented and intellectual, to create a balanced and healthy society. The leading actor in the film meets a girl on the bus and tries to convince her for days to be the victim of his theory. Of course, she disagrees but he spends the whole 17 minutes of the film following her everywhere, buying her gifts and convincing her to accept. When his victim realizes that she doesn’t have any impact on her society she accepts his offer and tells him to eat her. After talking with him, the guy realizes that she has an effect on his life because he needs her in his theory and as a result, tells her that he can’t eat her for she is no longer useless.

The film triggers the thought in every person to think of his effect on society and the impact of others around him in his life. We met with Sarah on the evening of the screening of her film at Goethe Institute to get to know the young filmmaker and we were not surprised to know that she is the younger sister of talented filmmaker Ahmed Abdallah.

Tell us about the idea you wanted to highlight, it’s a very strange plot.

There was a question that I always used to ask myself which is how could we measure the value of people’s lives. We are 80 million people living in Egypt, yet, we aren’t a developed country and that means that there are lots of people who aren’t influential in their community.

What was people’s feedback when you told them the idea before it came to screen?

We did a brainstorming session and I kept on asking the group about their feedback, some thought that it’ll be a bit violent but it didn’t turn out this way. I guess it was more romantic than violent because the guy didn’t want to be evil at all.

To what extent are you satisfied with the film?

During the screening, I was too nervous to join the audience. I watched from backstage but people liked the film. Most of the discussions were around the main idea and it was controversial some people were against it, others liked it.

Your brother Ahmed Abdallah is a rising filmmaker, how did you benefit from this?

Filmmakers like Ahmed are very rare. He makes a picture under any circumstances and he says the idea he wants to tackle with any language he wants. I want to become like him, his influence on my work is more of a filmmaker than of a brother and not only on me on many young filmmakers from this generation.

What are your expectations for your career?

I’m not expecting to make a film every now and then and I am not trying to make any plans. My life in the past year and a half was all about filmmaking, from watching lots of films to making my own film. At the moment, I’m editing graduation projects of other young filmmakers in my class.

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