The Art of Speaking
The Art of Speaking

The Art of Speaking

Director Emmanuelle Demoris

Production year 2010

Length 155min.

Country Egypt / France


Mohamed Khattab runs the grocery in Mafrouza, a shanty town in Alexandria. A sheik, he also preaches the Friday sermon in the local mosque. But in this month of feast preceding the great Eid day, fundamentalists come to the neighborhood and take over the mosque. The people of Mafrouza describe this takeover calmly and clear-sightedly. Mohamed Khattab’s closest friend comments: “The Brothers seek to attract people; if you love someone, you don’t try to win him over, you talk to him directly”. Though hurt, Mohamed Khattab keeps his dignity, his sarcasm and the secret regarding his intentions. But he hasn't said his last word. What happens next gives him the opportunity to express his strategies, his rage and his resistance, but also his tenderness towards this camera now due to leave as the shooting is completed after two years filming in the area. The Art of Speaking is the fifth and the last film of Mafrouza, a 5-film series shot by Emmanuelle Demoris in the Mafrouza area.


Golden Leopard | Locarno IFF, Switzerland, 2010


Emmanuelle Demoris
Emmanuelle Demoris



Jean Gruault - Les Films de la Villa

Director of Photography

Emmanuelle Demoris


Emmanuelle Demoris, Celine Ducreux


Mohamed Khattab, Hassan Stohi, Hasan Gaber Ibrahim, Rania Berro, Amir Younan, Karim Boutros-Ghali, Alexandre Buccianti, Darina Al-Joundi

Emmanuelle Demoris

Born 1965, London. Emmanuelle Demoris lives in Paris, where she studied at the FEMIS cinema school. She first worked in theatre, as a director and an actor. In 1998, she directed the first documentary film, Stone Memories, about the past and the present of a stone quarry near Paris. She started the Mafrouza film project in 2000. The complete Mafrouza series premiered in Locarno IFF in 2010.


Mafrouza - Oh Night! (2007), Mafrouza –Heart (2010), What Is to Be Done? (2010), The Hand of the Butterfly (2010), The Art of Speaking (2010)

FILMS 2011