El Ott – The new movie by Ibrahim El Batout – Controversal, shocking and offensive

Posted on November 6, 2014 by

Filmmaker Ibrahim El Batout with Actors and Filmproducers Amr Waked and Salah Al Hanafy (ZAD Communication and Production).


Egyptian Filmmaker Ibrahim El Batout goes with the movie “El Ott” beyond conventional genre boundaries. He provokes. It is his unique creative vision that drives the film.

The new crime drama is cruel, strange and dreamlike. It explores darker themes and it’s free for speculations about their meaning. El Batout uses innovative visual experimentation to tell the story about the doomed hero El Ott (Amr Waked) who is filled with existential bitterness. He seeks revenge from crime boss Fathi (Salah Al Hanafy), a ruthless organ- and human trafficker. El Ott and his loyal brother Ghagary (Amr Farouk) hunt Fathi through egypt’s capital Cairo which is like a maze – there is no escape from fate.
El Ott is driven by a supernatural character (Farouk El-Fishawy) who seems to lead his morally questionable destiny.


“El Ott” before its Premiere at the Abu Dhabi Filmfestival, 27th of October 2014.

“El Ott” is full of hypnotic moments, disturbed characters and hopelessness – it has its own cinematic style. El Batout’s storyline is unusual, his expressive approach to visual composition is breathtaking.
The movie offends and mystifies audiences.
“El Ott” breaks cultural taboos, it might cause moral panic. It provokes an outraged response from the mainstream and leaves everybody out of debates who has nothing meaningful to contribute. That’s why It is understandable that the movie has divided critical opinions.
“El Ott” is simply sui generis – the movie doesn’t fit into a standard genre and might shock the mainstream audience.

“The good thing is the more discontent they create about the film the more popular it will get,” predicts Salah Al Hanafy.  “The movie is not even released in the egyptian cinema but some so called journalists are  trying to bury it under their critique already. That’s pathetic. After running some content analysis on articles and reviews in  the MENA-Region , it’s very clear to me there is a pool of some mainstream egyptian journalists who has been gearing up and organizing their front early to make our project a failing one. They avoided constructive criticism of the film and wasted their energy in attacking us as persons which proves that it is a personal issue and not a professional one.  Those nonprofessionals are negative products of the previous corrupted regime that we are doing our best to eradicate since a long time with 2 main peaks in January 25th 2011 and June 30th 2013”, he says.

“We are shaking their conditioning. And instead of admitting that they are hypnotized by the movie, they point at us and complain, as teachers do when their students are not following their classroom rules properly,” so the Actor and Producer. “We know that the movie is shocking and instead of enjoying the journey of the film and try to decode its signs, they are trying to destroy it. They are simply freaking out from the unknown”, he explains.

“It’s time that they stop underestimating the egyptian audience intelligence and taste by making dumb statements in advance that they won’t like the film because of incomprehensible reasons that no intelligent person can understand.  The movie takes each person watching it by surprise. It takes him out of his long living box of predictions, expectations and mind reference injected in his everyday actions, thoughts and words”, so the 43-years old.   “It’s about time our people go to the cinema and digest art, ideas and innovations.  It’s food for the brain, that we offer. ”