Documaker Ahmed Atef pulls out all the stops in his feature bow, a high-spirited adolescent fantasy about the wall facing young Egyptians as they enter adult life. Instead of dramatizing job shortages and corruption, “Omar 2000” leaps into a magical Helzapoppin’ world of ghosts and goblins. A big winner at the Alexandria film fest, this uncategorizable pic inspired by everything from Indian song-and-dance movies to “A Thousand and One Nights” is quite a reach for Western auds, though some fests may take a shine to it.
Unpromising opening shows Omar turning 30 with gray hair and no job prospects. Deciding to immigrate to America, he gives himself a month to “go wild.” Equally irritating in his manic and depressive phases, Omar finally finds his match in an uninhibited girl who was accidentally buried alive and now lives for the day. Best part of film is a graveyard full of ghosts. There is a remarkably frank sex scene, shot as a choreographed song number, and a refreshingly nonconformist attitude toward women. But pic’s chaotic home- movie look and string of undigested slogans against consumerism and war pull it down.