Ahmed El Attar’s fascination with the family, evident with his trilogy consisting of Life is Beautiful or Waiting for My Uncle from America (2000), The Last Supper (2014), and Mama (2018), continues with The Discreet Charm of the Pillars of Society.
This time around, two families instead of one, who epitomise wealth, power, and corruption take centre stage. One from Syria and the other from Sweden, what brings them together is their disapproval of their children’s upcoming marriage. Their relationship is fraught from the get-go, but a business opportunity promising to make them even richer, allows them to find common ground beyond their mutual hatred.
El Attar’s biting commentary with quick and sharp dialogue in Arabic, Swedish, and English begs the question: With a world in chaos, opportunities abound for a select few – but at what price?