Oscars: Egypt Selects 'Poisonous Roses' for International Feature Film Category

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Fawzi Saleh

Fawzi Saleh's family drama is centered on life in Cairo's tannery district and based on Ahmed Zaghloul Al-sheety's 1990 novel 'Poisonous Roses for Saqr.'

Egypt has selected Fawzi Saleh's Poisonous Roses as its submission for the best international feature film category at the 2020 Oscars.

Based on Ahmed Zaghloul Al-sheety's 1990 novel Poisonous Roses for Saqr, the film is centered on two siblings, Tahya and Sakr, who live with their mother in Cairo's environmentally unsafe and impoverished tannery district.

In a strange relationship between sister and brother, overprotective Taheya makes Sacr stay at home while she earns a living by cleaning public toilets.

Poisonous Roses premiered at last year's Rotterdam International Film Festival and went on to be screened at a number of other international fests, including the Cairo International Film Festival, where it collected the special jury award.

The film is Saleh's feature debut. His 2010's documentary Living Skin, also centered on people living and working in Cairo's tannery district, collected several awards on the international festival circuit.

Egypt has entered movies in the best international feature Oscar race since 1958. However, none of the country's submissions has collected a nomination or statuette so far.