Director Zeina Durra spoke with Variety‘s chief film critics Peter Debruge about making her film “Luxor” and why filmmaking is important to her on the Variety Critics Corner presented by the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
Set in Luxor, Egypt, a British aid worker named Hana returns to the beloved city where she comes across a talented archaeologist and former lover. While wandering the area, Hana grapples with the choices she made in the past and the uncertainty of the present.
While creating the indie film, Durra shared it was during a rather somber time in her life and wanted to reflect those moments in Hana’s journey.
“For me, it’s really a film about hope, second chances through nostalgia for the past and working through where you were, where you are now,” said Durra. “I definitely think it’s my most mature film. I think it was right after Trump got elected, Brexit –– I was deeply sad and I just wanted to analyze that through the journey of this woman in a more visceral way.”
The London-born director added that the importance of filmmaking for her is that it has become a type of therapy.
“Like any art I think [directing] is a therapy form because you are dealing with all this stuff that you see…I analyze everything subconsciously,” said Durra. “I am able sort out the things going through my head or my soul. I can sort the mat and tell a story that way.”
Watch the full conversation above.