Salata Baladi

Salata Baladi

Nadia Kamel

EG / CH / FR

»If we had not confronted the taboos of our present, my mother’s stories would have been reduced to self-indulgence and nostalgia. And so my story telling film became a witness to a new story still in the making – a story about my family’s efforts to once more climb the wall that unjustly insists on separating our principles from our humanity.«
– Nadia Kamel

Mary Kamel – mother of filmmaker Nadia – has a complex family history, spread across the Mediterranean, with a multi-ethnic, multireligious and multi-lingual mix. She was born in Cairo as the daughter of a Jew and an Italian Catholic mother, and converted to Islam on marrying Egyptian author Sa’ad Kamel. She is both Italian and Egyptian, but also a communist, feminist and pacifist. She tries – together with filmmaker Nadia – to explain to her grandson Nabeel (who is of Egyptian-Italian- Palestinian-Lebanese origin, with Russian, Caucasian, Turkish and Spanish blood) the family background of the past 100 years, including a trip, controversial among relatives, to visit her Egyptian-Jewish family in Israel, whom she hasn’t seen since 1946 … A moving story about humanity, tolerance and diversity.

Director / Script

Nadia Kamel


Nadia Kamel, Ibrahim El Battout


Catherine Mabilat


Beatrice Wick


Kamilya Jubran


Nadia Kamel, Snooze Production, in co-production with Films d’Ici and Ventura Film


Ventura Film

Portrait of Nadia Kamel

Nadia Kamel

Nadia Kamel was born in 1961 in Egypt as the daughter of politically active journalists, and studied microbiology and chemistry at the University of Cairo. She worked for ten years as assistant to directors Youssef Chahine and Yousri Nasrallah, before starting in 2000 on the production of her first full-length feature film Salata Baladi. She was only able to complete the film in 2007, and it was presented in the same year at the Locarno film festival.

Films by Nadia Kamel
Heartache 1992