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Egypt, a Love Song

  • Israel
  • Documentary
  • 2022
  • 75 min.
  • Director(s): Iris Zaki
  • Producer(s): Ronen Machlis-Balzam, Iris Zaki, Hila Guy, Asaf Galay, Peter Hutchison


Souad Zaki was a famous Jewish Arabic singer in 1940s Egypt, starred in films alongside Umm Kulthum and became famous all over the Arab world. She married to a renowned Muslim musician – Mohamed Elakkad, with whom she had a son. After Mohammed abandoned her with their child, Souad fled to Israel, where she was consigned to live a poor life. Souad’s granddaughter, Iris Zaki, brings her tempestuous story to life in a sweeping project that crosses cultures, religions and cinematic form – marrying scripted period scenes and rare archival materials with an intimate father-daughter documentary journey, exploring a family’s complex identity.

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Iris Zaki


Ronen Machlis-Balzam, Iris Zaki, Hila Guy, Asaf Galay, Peter Hutchison


Avner Shahaf


Nili Feller


Nur Fibak, Rivka Bacher

Original Language

Arabic, Hebrew, English


Hebrew, English

About the filmmaker

Dr. Iris Zaki is a Grierson award-winning filmmaker with a signature cinematic style. Her films "Women in Sink" and "Unsettling" were shown at numerous festivals and universities around the world (incl. IDFA, AFI Docs, CPH:DOX, Karlovy Vary, Viennale, BFI) winning many prestigious awards. They were featured on TV internationally and were commissioned by The New York Times, attracting millions of online viewers. Iris did her PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London, exploring her innovative interviewing technique and is currently teaching BA and MA courses at Sapir College, while also giving masterclasses in Europe and the US.

Sound Designer

Shahaf Wagshall

Costume Designer

Rona Doron

Production Designer

Avshalom Smolarchik

Line Producer

Adi Sela

Produced with the help of

KAN 11 – Israeli Broadcasting Corporation, Makor Foundation for Israeli Films, Gesher Multicultural Film Fund, Israel Ministry of Culture and Sport, The Cultural Administration, The Israel Film Council, Jewish Story Partners

Festival Highlights


    Best Documentary
    Terni Film Festival

    Best Screenplay
    Terni Film Festival

Jerusalem Film Festival, Israel, Documentary Competition, 2022