When the funding for one of director Zeina Durra’s films fell apart, she, by a stroke of luck, came up with the inspiration to make her film “Luxor” after having a dream about a woman walking around Luxor in Egypt.
Durra was “super depressed” that her previous film was falling apart. But then in very little time, she had a wave of support behind the film and only one thing keeping her from pulling it all together: getting pregnant with her third child.
“I was really bummed this movie wasn’t happening, but I had this amazing dream and I feel like I have to go make this movie, but I’m not sure what it’s about,” Durra told TheWrap at Sundance. “The only thing my mother told me once it was going was, ‘Please don’t get pregnant now Zeina, because that keeps happening.’ And, of course, two months later I got pregnant. And then we had to wait for nine months, and then once I had given birth, I could make the film, and I took my tiny third child, who was a couple of months old, on set.”
And to clarify, Durra took her third child on location to Egypt. “Luxor” is set in the namesake city and tells the story of a doctor, played by Andrea Riseborough, who has just returned to Luxor from a war zone and is now grappling with her own emotions and sense of self. The slow burn film starts to evoke some mystical power as Riseborough wanders through the ancient pyramids and other ruins.
“When she’s in Luxor and going through these ruins and these temples, it’s more like downloading historical information. What she sees is healing and triggers her thought process, but in a very subconscious way,” Durra said. “One of the challenges of this film was how am I going to show the subconscious? And I really feel we managed to get that energy across, when she touches the wall or is walking, without it being something overly dramatic or cliché.”
Check out TheWrap’s interview with Durra above.
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