In his second film, Youssef Nabil offers viewers a poignant and nostalgic look at the art form of belly dancing and its increasing demise in his home country of Egypt.
“I’ve always been fascinated by this art form and by the Egypt that I still think of and dream of and keep with me wherever I go,” says the artist. “The belly dancer represents the country that I always carry with me.” The 12-minute film stars Hollywood actress Salma Hayek and actor Tahir Rahim, whom Nabil first also worked with in his first film You Never Left (2010). As the spectator watches Hayek sensuously move her hips to the sound of the beating derbak (Arabic drum), an exotic desert landscape comes to the fore reminding one of the artist’s enchanting homeland.
As in all of Nabil’s work, the film is mixed with nostalgia, history, and memory.
Read the full interview in Harper’s Bazaar Art’s Spring issue