Scene from the film Desert View
Scene from the film Desert View
Scene from the film Desert View
Scene from the film Desert View

Desert View

  • Germany
  • Egypt
Audio Tracks 

The film Desert View is dedicated to the study of building and living in the semi - built satellite city Madinaty, located in the desert east of Cairo. The title Desert View alludes to Hollywood-inspired names of compound architecture around Cairo and the much-vaunted view from the mansion window, which in the gated communities always points to the artificial landscapes inside the compound and never to the actual desert landscape of Egypt. Madinaty is a fully privately owned city that, unlike a gated community, claims to be an open but self-contained and secure city. All public services are not provided by the state, but by the Arab real estate company Talaat Mustafa.

The movie Desert View was made during a four-week residency experiment, to which the filmmakers had invited the three-generation Barakat family from ashweyat (informal residential district) Bashtil as a sort of cinematic diary. The temporary residents of Madinaty, filmmaker and Barakat family, captured their observations and experiences of architecture and their use from their respective perspectives and cameras. Two external perspectives on the desert dreams of the Egyptian middle and upper classes.

Also part of the project were discursive evenings, to which filmmakers and the Barakat family invited new and old neighbors, architects, artists and urbanists from Cairo to the living room of the villa. Here the different perspectives on the topic "How do we want to live?" were discussed and documented.


  • Original title
    Desert View
  • Direction
  • Cast
    Amal, Asmaa, Faris and Mahmoud Barakat
  • DOP
    Daniel Kötter, Constanze Fischbeck, Amal, Asmaa, Mahmoud Barakat
  • Editing
    Daniel Kötter, Constanze Fischbeck
  • Sound
    Jochen Jezussek
  • Duration
    83 min (46-90 min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • Germany
    • Egypt
  • Colour
    • Colour
  • Festivals
    • Suburbinale Vienna
    • Arquiteturas Film Festival Lisbon is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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