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New Egyptian film depicts intrigue, power plays at Al-Azhar

Egyptian-born director Tarek Saleh’s latest movie is his first to be shown at Cannes.
Director Tarik Saleh poses with the Best Screenplay Award for the movie "Walad Min Al Janna."

CAIRO — The film “Boy from Heaven” by Swedish-Egyptian director Tarik Saleh sparked controversy in Egyptian artistic and political circles after it was shown at the 75th Cannes Film Festival.

The film follows the story of young Adam (played by Palestinian actor Tawfeek Barhom), the son of a fisherman, who has been accepted at Cairo's Al-Azhar University, one of the world's top institutions for Sunni Islam scholars. On the first day of classes, the Grand Imam collapses and dies unexpectedly, leaving the university without a leader. Adam soon finds himself embroiled in a powerplay among Egypt's religious and political elite to elect a new imam.

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