This 2011 Seattle International Film Festival entry from Egypt took a while to capture my attention, but then I was very much interested and involved.

The contemporary scene in Alexandria with well-educated young adults frustrated by menial jobs is exactly the problem throughout north Africa that is contributing to the Arab Spring of 2011 we read about in the morning paper. In addition, even though they kept saying those under- ground musicians were from "Metal" bands, I found the music more closely akin to 60s folk/protest songs. Yes, they assail their own govern- ment officials just like ours did "in the day." Skateboards are ever present, and graffiti artists show the same creativity we see on American streets: funny, profane and pertinent.

We see cell phones, IPods, video cameras, laptops, flash drives and other electronic gear as guerrilla film makers shoot the street scene for post-graduate degrees. The biggest difference is the ubiquity of the "Morality Police," along with the prayer rugs used regularly throughout the city.

I was completely swept away by a handsome and charismatic actor who played the central character. Khaled Abol Naga ("Heliopolis") is already a big star in Egypt and I can certainly see why! He plays an ex-patriot who returns to Egypt for his mother's funeral and decides to produce a concert which would feature street musicians. Naturally he is up against the establishment, so expect the unexpected. (But government officials are the same everywhere!)

I liked this one.