The movie

Cairo Conspiracy

Adam, the son of a fisherman, is offered the privilege to study at the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, the center of power of Sunni Islam. Adam becomes a pawn in the conflict between Egypt's religious and political elites.

Length: 117 min
Country: Egypt, Sweden
Language spoken: Arabic
Language subtitles: Dutch
Cast: Tawfeek Barhom, Fares Fares, Mohammad Bakrim, Makram Khoury, Mehdi Dehbi
Director: Tarik Saleh
Release date: 27/04/2023


Swedish writer-director Tarik Saleh (his father is from Egypt) struck a world-cinema chord with his bold and brash ‘The Nile Hilton Incident’, and he continues his subversive ways with his latest tense political thriller, which offers a glimpse into a cutthroat hidden world.

Young Adam (Tawfeek Barhom), a provincial lad from a fishing village, is admitted to the prestigious Al-Azhar University in Cairo, beacon of Islamic thought since the year 972. When the university’s grand imam suddenly dies, the Muslim Brotherhood and the National Security Service turn out to have conflicting interests. Unknowingly, Adam is recruited to influence the choice of the new grand imam. When he learns the truth, he is caught between two fires, and his life is on the line… Saleh’s film was awarded the Best Screenplay prize at the Cannes Film Festival last year.

‘There’s an intriguing mix of scorn and paranoia here, together with a yearning for individual figures of decency halfway down the food chain—it reminded me of John le Carré… It’s a movie that is boldly anti-clerical, juxtaposing the spectacle of faith with a hidden reality of corruption and hypocrisy.’—Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian


The Guardian
"Superbly realised paranoid nightmare”