To put it lightly, Egypt as a country is a complete and utter mess. There’s repression of free speech, media witch-hunts and the complete eradication of certain civil liberties. It’s not quite the paradise many hoped for after the uprising against Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Indeed, many are questioning whether they’re really better off now. However, it’s easy to forget what kind of country Egypt was before the revolution. A society tarred by corruption, lawlessness and fear. Whilst The Nile Hilton Incident is based on true events, director Tarik Saleh adapts facts to fit into the current socio-political climate.

Police detective Noredin Mustafa (Fares Fares) is just your everyday corrupt cop, working the mean streets of bustling Cairo. Whilst investigating the murder of a singer in a hotel room at the Nile Hilton, he comes across evidence to implicate the hotel owner (Ahmed Saleem), a member of parliament, for the crime. He desperately tries to track down the only witness to the killing, but the case is abruptly closed. Undeterred, Noredin perseveres but finds himself coming up against the elite of Egyptian society.

The Nile Hilton Incident is a classy noir which places you in the dark and acrid heart of a corrupt society. Set on the eve of the 2011 uprisings, Saleh twists and turns his plot to reflect the political machinations of the era. Fares Fares is easily the most recognisable Lebanese actor, and will be a familiar face to many from films such as Rogue One and Zero Dark Thirty. He’s exceptional as the hangdog Noredin. Exuding an air of resigned pessimism throughout as he dogged tries to solve the case. The Nile Hilton Incident is a smoky crime drama which addresses the problems within Egypt amidst an impressive noir.

The Nile Hilton Incident will be in cinemas later this year.