Cabaret Crusades: The Secrets of Karbalaa, 2015
The third and final chapter of the Cabaret Crusades series, The Secrets of Karbalaa does not follow the same linear chronology of the previous films, but goes back and forth on the historical time line from the 7th century to the 12th century. The approximately 2 hour film starts off with the beginnings of the split between Muslims into Shiites and Sunnis in the battle of Karbalaa, and later shifts to show the chasms between Orthodox and Catholic Christians during the 4th crusade with the story of Noureldin Al Zenki, where the second part had ended. It follows the history of Salahuddine, Al Zenki’s ambassador to Egypt, and deals with the historical period that takes place between the Second Crusades (1145–1149) and the Third Crusades (1189–1192). This particular film sets to illustrate the betrayal of kinsmen and the fragility of humanity. The artist was particularly interested in the delicacy of the human soul as described in Jose Saramago’s “The Gospel According to Jesus Christ”. Shawky created 270 individual marionettes out of Murano glass, some taking the form of animals, others disfigured - all showing the grotesque brutality of war and aggression. In addition to the marionettes, Shawky has created 131 immobile statuettes that play bystanders in the film.
Cabaret Crusades: The Secrets of Karbalaa, 2015, HD-video, color, sound, Dolby surround system, 120 min.