Co-written and co-edited by Muhammad Mustapha, the documentary was brought to life through the production expertise of Hassala Films.
Since its inaugural screening on September 25, Light Upon Light, the Danish-Egyptian documentary by Christian Suhr, has been making waves at Zawya Cinema in Downtown Cairo.
The documentary’s premiere was marked by an engaging Q&A session featuring Suhr and the film’s dedicated crew. Since then, Light Upon Light has consistently sold out screenings throughout the month of October.
Due to its popularity and overwhelming demand, the documentary is slated for multiple showings in the first week of November. Mark your calendars for November 6 and 7 as Light Upon Light continues to shine.
Light Upon Light embarks on a journey following a piece of sage advice from an Egyptian friend to Danish anthropologist Christian Suhr: “Stop focusing on all the darkness in the world and look at the light instead.”
Suhr’s quest takes him along the Nile and into the desert of Cairo to uncover the significance of light through meaningful conversations and rituals. Gradually, the film transcends stereotypes and prejudices, shedding new light on a religion often reduced to clichés.
The documentary stars Aya El-Hosseiny, Sonia Hassan, Maher Al-Sharnouby, and Magda Habshey. It held its world premiere in the Nordic Competition at the 19th Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival.
In addition to the film’s storytelling, the crew conducted master classes at the EthnoKino Film Festival and Freiburger Filmforum to delve deeper into the film’s subject matter. Various conferences and universities, including the American Academy of Religion, Mind & Life Europe, and the Middle East Studies Association, have hosted panel discussions and debates around the film.
Light Upon Light is co-written and co-edited by Muhammad Mustapha, lensed by Amira Mortada, Muhammad Mustapha, and Christian Suhr, and produced by Hala Lotfy with Hassala Films.
The documentary made waves at the Athens Ethnographic Film Festival, took part in the International Critics’ Week at the Cairo International Film Festival, and received a Special Mention at the Jean Rouch International Film Festival’s Immersive Filmmaking Competition.
It also graced festivals such as Ethnocineca in Vienna, the International Ethnographic Film Festival of Quebec, the NAFA Film Festival, and the Arabian Nights Film Festival in Copenhagen. Recently, Light Upon Light was featured in the Documentary Competition at the ninth edition of the Tripoli Film Festival in Lebanon.
Christian Suhr, a filmmaker and professor of anthropology at Aarhus University, Denmark, initiated his collaboration with the Cairo-based film collective Hassala Films in 2014. Light Upon Light marks their inaugural joint endeavour.