Clash on Blu-ray – The DVDfever Review


Clash has nothing to do with the popular London band during the ’70s and ’80s, but is more a clash of cultures and beliefs, and shows quite a rarity in filmmaking in that the entirety of the movie is set in a single location, in this case, a van. The easiest way to set the scene is to give the film’s own opening text:

  • 2011 – The Egyptian revolution ends a 30-year presidency

  • 2012 – the newly-elected President is a member of an Islamist party, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB)

  • 2013 – Millions revolt against the new President in the bigger protests in Egyptian history. 3 days later, the military removes him.

  • In the next days, MB and military supporters clash all over Egypt. This is one such day.

Journalists Adam (Hani Adel) and Zein (El Sebaii Mohamed) are the first to be locked up in the van when the police wrongly assume that they’re plotting nefarious deeds. While the cops are distracted and the pair try to attract the attention of others, for help in rescuing them, it all results in many others joining them too, leading to bickering aplenty when those revolting against the regime end up inside the van, accusing the journos of being MB! And then when the actual MB also join them…. blimey!

In what is certainly a road movie with a difference, as the van goes from A to B and beyond, the police are shown hosing down protestors, there’s a sniper to be dodged, the problems of struggling to breathe inside the van, plus who exactly is playing that noughts and crosses game which is being carved on the inside?

It takes great skill to not only navigate the complexities of filming in such a tight space, but to also have so many characters and yet create distinct personalities for every last one, but all those involved manage it brilliantly.

Plus, even if this might not sound like the right film for you, there’s a stack of dry humour in this, including when one’s desperate to wee into the bottle provided by the police.

Finally, I saw this one day after finally catching up with Ryan Reynolds’ Buried – a film shot entirely in one location (a coffin, underground) – and this is similar in that style, but just as fascinating, and making you feel as trapped as those in that respective movie.

Heated exchanges in the van.

The film is presented in the original 1.85:1 widescreen ratio and in 1080p high definition, and for a brand new movie, it’s the same high quality you’d expect from such a film shot on digital film.

The audio is in DTS HD-MA 5.1, and while it’s not a special effects extravaganza, there’s directional sounds fairly frequently as the camera’s viewpoint travels around the van and changes between the viewpoint of the individuals within.

The extras are as follows and while Arrow normally give us huge amounts on a back catalogue title, it’s a shame there’s only a few things on a new one, even though the first one is nicely in-depth:

  • Tales From The Van (42:59): An interview with director Mohamed Diab, filmed in October 2016 when the movie was premiered at the London Film Festival.

    He tells how he told the tale from personal experience, but the hassle he’s endured after trying to humanise those on opposite sides of his views, as well as the police. For a long interview, it’s a shame it’s not chaptered (well… TWO chapters. WOW!!!), but then chapters are never Arrow’s forte as I’ve mentioned many times. Come on, guys, give us chapters!!!

    Note that this interview is in English, whereas the next extra is in Farsi, and subtitled in English.

  • Making Of (18:22): Plenty of interview soundbites mixed with on-set footage, telling how they used small hand-held cameras to enable focusing on individual characters more easily. It certainly is the way to go when you’re shooting in such a tight space. Many of the cast and crew are featured, here, which makes for a nice variety.

  • Trailer (1:33): In the original 1.85:1 theatrical ratio.

I can only review what’s present on the check disc, but if you buy this title, you’ll also get a reversible sleeve featuring two original artwork options, plus a booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Michael Brooke, and an interview with Mohamed Diab.

The main menu features a short piece of the score set to clips from the film, there’s a bog-standard 12 chapters and subtitles are in English.

Clash is out now on Blu-ray and DVD , and check out the full-size cover by clicking on the packshot.

Before long, they’re joined by Nagwa (Nelly Karim) whose husband is already in there…


Detailed specs:
Running time: 97 mins
Year: 2017
Distributor: Arrow Films
Released: August 14th 2017
Chapters: 12 FCD1543
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Languages: Arabic
Subtitles: English
Widescreen: 1.85:1
Disc Format: BD50

Director: Mohamed Diab
Producers: Rémi Burah, Mohamed Hefzy, Eric Lagesse, Moez Masoud and MW Zackie
Screenplay: Khaled Diab and Mohamed Diab
Music: Khaled Dagher

Nagwa: Nelly Karim
Adam: Hani Adel
Zein: El Sebaii Mohamed
Awad: Ahmed Abdelhamid Hefny
Central Force Soldier: Mahmoud Fares
Nader: Waleed Abdel Ghany
Central Force Officer: Atef Ammar
Hossam: Tarek Abdel Aziz
Fisho: Hosny Sheta
Faris: Ahmed Dash
Mans: Ahmed Malek
Radwan: Mohamed Abdel Azim
Salah: Gamil Barsoum
Hussein: Mohamed Tarek
Tamer: Mohamed Gamal Kalbaz
Omar: Ashraf Hamdi
Mohamed Hashem: Amr Elqady
Hothayfa: Ali Eltayeb
M. Hashem: Mohamed Salah
Moath: Mohammad Alaa
Abdel Hamid: Mohamed Abu Elsoa’ud
Aisha: May Elghety
Ouais: Mohamed ElSouisy
Badr: Mohamed Radwan

Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.


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