Set at a time when the police is collapsing, Carnival follows Adham (42) – a morally conflicted policeman who has panic attacks, and Tanya (12), the daughter of Adham’s boss. Adham saves her from the upside-down Cairo zoo. The pair meet and get stuck together for the day. Wise beyond her years, Tanya picks up on the patriarchal world of Adham and very quickly, she and Adham become a team. Traveling from one location to another in the midst of apocalyptic empty Cairo, serving the most absurd and bizarre day imaginable, the two opposite colorful characters form an unusual bond and forge an unlikely partnership that get them through the surreal day in the father’s absence after he gets kidnapped.
Carnival completes a trilogy about authority in Egypt. This world have marked my life from childhood since my father was a criminal investigator. My 1st film Whose Country? was about a policeman – 15 years older than me. Those policemen were destabilized by the uprising of younger generations represented by my 2nd documentary’s female character Amal - 15 years younger than me. These two real characters: the policeman and the young girl from the two documentaries meet in the fiction Carnival as outsiders to this hierarchical system. Adham embodies the duality of human nature as a police infiltrator who turns gradually to a double agent between the police and the people. Animals in the zoo scenes and children like Tanya are dragged into that war to contrast innocence and corruption, chaos and order.