The Nile Hilton Incident

A hard-boiled detective story unfolds amid the Egyptian revolution of 2011 in this well-executed thriller by writer-director Tarik Saleh, who based his screenplay on the real-life murder of Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim. The hero (Fares Fares), a lonely police commander in Cairo, is called to the title hotel, where a singing star has been found with her throat slit; when the trail leads to an Egyptian businessman with close ties to the Mubarak administration, the cop faces resistance from his superiors even as the people rise up against the regime. Saleh leans a bit too heavily on mystery cliche in defining his protagonist, but in general the film-noir sensibility meshes well with the political story—not least because of the fatalism that engulfed the revolution. In English and subtitled French, Arabic, and Dinka.