Sundance 2017 Film Review: “The Nile Hilton Incident” (2017) ★★★★


How does the justice system work in corrupt countries? If you have enough cash to get away with murder, there always will be a dishonest officer who would gladly cash it out. But that does not happen so often. In Nile Hilton’s Hotel a murder occurs. Mayor Noredin Mustafa is called to the scene by his uncle and the chief of the police department, Mr. Kammal, to solve the case. Soon after, the prosecutor for some reason rules out the case as suicide and closes it. Noredin obviously does not believe in that due to the way the woman was killed. But that is only the beginning of his dangerous journey that will lead to many killings before he comes to the conclusion.…

Set in Cairo’s most dangerous days when political riots and protests are about to erupt, Salwa, The Nile Hilton’s employees witnesses the murder of Lalena, a woman whose old profession contributes to her death. When Noredin arrives at the scene, at first, even though he believed that it was just a murder of a prostitute, however, after seeing photos taken of her with Hatem Shafiq, a member of parliament, the man realizes that it won’t be so easy to solve the case. The appearance of Gina, a beautiful singer from the local bar who works as a prostitute complicates the case, as well as Noredin’s mindset, that will eventually lead everyone to the edge of the cliff…

When Salwa confesses to Clinton about being a witness of the murder in the hotel, the man decides to use the information to blackmail Shafiq. However, as many people learn about Salwa being an important witness, the blood starts shedding. It will appear that Noredin is the only man in the entire police department who was not corrupt. As the story unfolds, Gina, who comes forward as Lalena’s friend finds herself in the arm of Noredin, who does not hide his fondness for her. But even that relationship won’t help Noredin to dig deep until he will be force to face against the entire government.

The Nile Hilton Incident written and directed by Tarik Saleh once again reminds us the elegance of Middle Eastern Cinema. In one movie Saleh touches upon so many complicated storylines, and never fails to deliver them. The story begins with the murder, then we learn a complicated life of Noredin, his affair with Gina, Salwa, who has to go through her own struggles to survive in a world where people like her do not live long. Saleh also manages to tell the Egyptian Revolution in a way that would not be able to tell the difference from what you had already seen in the local news.

In conclusion, The Nile Hilton Incident is a powerful political thriller with the elements of drama. It is action packed, as well as with intelligent lines, which the one who had to experience a familiar life can relate to. In this movie there are many things we all could have take away, but one thing is for certain, one man without dignity can’t fight against the state government. And if he does that, it will have its own implications… and when that happens, the Nile Hilton Incident won’t be so important as there are many other things that becomes priority… for instance staying alive….


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