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The Wedding Dress Tailor of Cairo
Cairo, Egypt
By jmontasir
02 Jun 2014

Madame Zeinab is a feisty, 60 year-old tailor who operates a small workshop in Cairo making wedding dresses. As she pieces together the fabric, she reflects on her own love life –and how the dream of marriage is getting harder for many Egyptians to achieve.

Length 3.10 minutes
Location Cairo, Egypt
Film by Jenny Montasir
Prod. Assistant Ghada Fikri
Music C. Filipe Alves

SHOT LIST:

1 WS Giza street from above
2 MS Fruit sellers working
3 WS Busy street with traffic
4 WS Omraneya commercial street
5 MS Exterior sewing shop
6 MS Madame Zeinab entering workshop
7 CS Madame Zeinab hands moving white fabric on work desk
8 TC Madame Zeinab explains workday
9 CS Madame Zeinab hands draws and measures around dress pattern
10 CS Sewing machine
11 CS Sewing needle and hands moving fabric
12 CS Madame Zeinab eyes
13 MS Religious texts on wall
14 CS Black and white thread spools
15 MS Madame Zeinab stretches at sewing table
16 MS Crowded workroom, ironing board
17 CU Scissors and rhinestone trim
18 WS Madame Zeinab at sewing table with wedding dress
19 CU Madame Zeinab hand-sewing rhinestones to collar
20 MS Madame Zeinab flipping through notebook with sketches, speaking to off-camera customers
21 WS Madame Zeinab speaking with two female customers
22 TC Madame Zeinab jokes about why customers want to have their own wedding dress
23 WS Giza neighborhood from above
24 WS Omraneya street, teenage boy walking with baby
25 CU Photo of married couple in shop window
26 MS Wedding dress in shop window, traffic moving in reflection
27 MS Older man in street counts money at shop entrance
28 CU Exterior wedding tent
29 MS Children inside wedding tent
30 WS Bride and groom climb onto elevated platform
31 WS Seated women clapping
32 MS Young girl twirls bouquet, pan to seated bride
33 CS Twinkling lights strung in tent
34 CS Young man hypes crowd on microphone, other young man dances alongside him
35 MS Young men dancing frenetically in crowd
36 MS Bride and groom dance in a circle of guests
37 WS Giza street evening
38 MS Madame Zeinab discusses wedding dress design with her daughter
39 CS Notebook and ruler on workdesk
40 WS Madame Zeinab arranging white fabric on work desk
41 MS Madame Zeinab hobbles into break room
42 CS Colorful spools of thread
43 MS Madame Zeinab drinking tea
44 WS Daughter watching political rally on TV
45 CU Daughter's looking up toward TV
46 TC Madame Zeinab on hope for future
47 MS Madame Zeinab working on dress, reflected in mirror
48 MS Madame Zeinab at sewing table with white fabric, makes joke about getting married

SHOT LIST - Rough Version
1 WS Giza street from above
2 MS Fruit sellers working
3 WS Busy street with traffic
4 WS Omraneya commercial street
5 MS Exterior sewing shop
6 MS Madame Zeinab entering workshop
7 CS Madame Zeinab hands moving white fabric on work desk
8 CS Madame Zeinab hands draws and measures around dress pattern
9 CS Sewing machine
10 CS Sewing needle and hands moving fabric
11 CS Madame Zeinab eyes
12 MS Religious texts on wall
13 CS Black and white thread spools
14 MS Madame Zeinab stretches at sewing table
15 MS Crowded workroom, ironing board
16 CU Scissors and rhinestone trim
17 WS Madame Zeinab at sewing table with wedding dress
18 CU Madame Zeinab hand-sewing rhinestones to collar
19 MS Madame Zeinab flipping through notebook with sketches, speaking to off-camera customers
20 WS Madame Zeinab speaking with two female customers
21 WS Giza neighborhood from above
22 WS Omraneya street, teenage boy walking with baby
23 CU Photo of married couple in shop window
24 MS Wedding dress in shop window, traffic moving in reflection
25 MS Older man in street counts money at shop entrance
26 CU Exterior wedding tent
27 MS Children inside wedding tent
28 WS Bride and groom climb onto elevated platform
29 WS Seated women clapping
30 MS Young girl twirls bouquet, pan to seated bride
31 CS Twinkling lights strung in tent
32 CS Young man hypes crowd on microphone, other young man dances alongside him
33 MS Young men dancing frenetically in crowd
34 MS Bride and groom dance in a circle of guests
35 WS Giza street evening
36 MS Madame Zeinab discusses wedding dress design with her daughter
37 CS Notebook and ruler on work desk
38 WS Madame Zeinab arranging white fabric on work desk
39 MS Madame Zeinab hobbles into break room
40 CS Colorful spools of thread
41 MS Madame Zeinab drinking tea
42 WS Daughter watching political rally on TV
43 CU Daughter's looking up toward TV
44 MS Madame Zeinab working on dress, reflected in mirror
45 TC Madame Zeinab explains workday
46 TC Madame Zeinab jokes about why customers want to have their own wedding dress
47 TC Madame Zeinab on hope for future
48 MS Madame Zeinab at sewing table with white fabric, makes joke about getting married

SCRIPT
01:00:12:19-01:00:15:13
My name is Madame Zeinab.
01:00:15:22-01:00:18:22
I have a shop called Al-Karawan in Omraneya.
01:00:19:13-01:00:22:14
We can sew anything.
01:00:25:06-01:00:29:11
I'm here by 10am and I don't go home until 12 at night.
01:00:32:03-01:00:35:16
I stand and cut.
I sit at the machine, and I iron.
01:00:35:17-01:00:37:17
I do everything by myself.
01:00:41:01-01:00:43:06
I got a sewing machine for my engagement
01:00:43:07-01:00:45:17
so I could help my husband and work.
01:00:47:08-01:00:49:20
He was a primary school teacher in Al-Azhar.
01:00:51:02-01:00:52:17
I have five children,
01:00:52:18-01:00:55:18
and their father has been dead for 30 years.
01:00:59:22-01:01:02:03
Nowadays most people just rent.
01:01:02:10-01:01:05:22
It's hard for a woman to buy when
she can barely afford to get married.
01:01:05:23-01:01:09:18
She can't afford the furnishings.
So why would she buy a dress for 3000 pounds?
01:01:14:20-01:01:16:19
A lot of people say, 'I want to tailor my own dress
01:01:16:20-01:01:19:04
to have as a memory in my wardrobe.'
01:01:19:05-01:01:22:17
Whenever she sees it
she'll remember her wedding day.
01:01:22:18-01:01:24:14
Whatever marital problems happen afterward,
01:01:24:15-01:01:26:17
when she sees the dress, she'll calm down.
01:01:29:07-01:01:33:10
I got married in a time when
people married at 18 years old.
01:01:35:13-01:01:37:22
Of course marriage was much easier back then.
01:01:37:23-01:01:42:05
Life was cheap and things weren't
as scarce as they are now.
01:01:51:20-01:01:54:21
A woman can't stay unmarried.
01:01:54:22-01:01:56:18
If she doesn't get married,
what will people say?
01:01:56:19-01:01:59:20
It's even better to get married and get divorced.
01:01:59:21-01:02:03:03
Then at least she can say, 'Yes, I got married.
But I have bad luck.'
01:02:24:14-01:02:26:16
I have a daughter who's a teacher,
01:02:26:17-01:02:29:04
and I have Ahmed who has a bachelor in commerce.
01:02:29:05-01:02:32:22
Osama has a diploma, and Mohamed
has a bachelor in commerce, too.
01:02:32:23-01:02:36:19
But because there's no work, one of them is
a taxi driver and the others do whatever.
01:02:39:23-01:02:36:18
[On radio] The Egyptian Revolution of January 25th, 01:02:39:22-01:02:42:09
the greatest achievement of which was...
01:02:43:09-01:02:45:03
Because of the conditions of the country,
01:02:45:04-01:02:47:13
the youth can't find apartments.
There's no place to live.
01:02:47:14-01:02:50:01
This is what's stopping life.
01:02:50:02-01:02:54:15
Our hope is that this changes
so that the country gets better.
01:02:54:16-01:02:56:08
Enough with the destruction.
01:02:59:19-01:03:02:09
I'm 60 years old and I want to get married.
01:03:04:12-01:03:06:18
I want to get married.

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