When Sharaf is sent to prison for killing a man in self-defense, he is abruptly torn from his dreams of wealth and consumption.
The microcosm of the prison reflects the complex situation of Arab society which suffers from dictatorship and poverty, dependent on an unjust global economic system. Sharaf decides to achieve his own social advancement behind bars. But he has to pay a very high price.
“SHARAF brings together great extremes. It tells a gloomy story in a laconic, sometimes funny and always entertaining manner. It paints a picture of a whole society and an ongoing crisis while taking place in a very limited space.
The main character is fascinating in his contradiction between naivety and trickery, like a mixture between Candide and Machiavelli. While the story proceeds, he becomes more and more guilty, but we can’t condemn him for that. He is a perfect example for a new lost generation in the Arab World. They grew up in authoritarian political systems and are deeply influenced by fundamental religious values. Yet they dream of freedom and Western lifestyle, as they know it through the internet and television. These dreams and high aspirations for the future dominate their thinking while they have no tools or any realistic chance to achieve them.”