The title of the film is a Sudanese phrase which translates literally into “the rooster’s sleep”; figuratively it refers to a person who tries to sleep standing, trapped between a state of slumber and wakefulness, limbo. Such is the reality of Sudanese refugees living in Cairo.
When British aid worker Hana returns to the ancient city of Luxor, she comes across Sultan, a talented archeologist and former lover. As she wanders, haunted by the familiar place, she struggles to reconcile the choices of the past with the uncertainty of the present.
On his way to attend a wedding with his adolescent son Waleed, a middle-aged father, Nasser, receives news of his father’s serious illness. He turns in the direction of his rural hometown south of Riyadh.
Malek, the father of the filmmaker, told her nothing about his childhood in Algeria. Several years later, he revealed his story in a written script. The father and daughter finally made the journey to Mansourah, his home village: to see his house again, to meet other men who have experienced the same tearing.