The Nile Hilton Incident [2017] ★★★

A police officer in Cairo talking and investigating a murder like a character out of a 1940’s film noir starring Humphrey Bogart. It’s a daring move, but a damn good one, so it should be on your list of movies to see before the year is over. A spoof would have been enough for writer/director Tarek Saleh. Instead, he dives deep into the film noir genre, shaping his characters with grit and panache. Fares Fares is terrific as police office Noreddin, who is assigned to investigate the murder of a famous singer at the Nile Hilton hotel, just weeks before the 2011 Egyptian revolution. In true film noir fashion, the trail eventually leads to a web of deceit and danger. Kudos to director Tarek Saleh for keeping us guessing at every turn. And kudos to cinematographer Pierre Aim (who worked on “La Haine” back in 1995), who gives the movie a seductive atmosphere of danger, especially as it takes place on the eve of the Egyptian revolution. “The Nile Hilton Incident” truly is a film noir for our time.

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