"Mahatah: Ihr habt die Uhr – wir haben die Zeit" is a documentary film about time, a look at the rhythm of cultures. In Mahatah – the Arabic word for train station – the director Sandra Gysi plunges into the microcosm of the main train stations of Zurich and Cairo and investigates the question of different perceptions of time and the latent concepts of life in them. The film thus shows parallel worlds in a globalized world and the quotidian lives and longings of commuters, traders, staff and passengers who cross one another's paths in the two train stations shows the many cultural differences and similarities of the two worlds.
Sandra Gysi, a film director from Aargau, studied anthropology, film and German studies in Zurich and then continued in the fields of directing, camerawork and film editing. From 1995 on she has had regular stays in Egypt and in the Sudan and has studied Arabic. She has worked as a film producer and project manager in Switzerland and Egypt since the year 2000 and has made numerous documentary and commissioned films as a freelance filmmaker. Gysi lives in Zurich and Cairo, and therefore she herself has been commuting back and forth between the two countries for years. Already her film Sira – Wenn der Halbmond Spricht afforded a unique view of Arab life and demonstrated Gysi's profound knowledge of and respect for this culture. Ahmed Abdel Mohsen co-directed the 2011 film, which was also produced by RECK Filmproduktion. Mahatah is Sandra Gysi's second cinema documentary and will be shown at festivals and in cinemas at the end of 2017.
The Foundation Board awards a project grant of CHF 30,000 for the production of a documentary that promises to be a visually impressive look at Arab culture, a culture that we are more and more absorbed by.