Tahia: Carioca was not just a singer and dancer, she was also a source of national pride for Egypt, according to Carioca film director Nabiha Lotfy, a veteran director with an impressive 50 feature films under her belt.
The documentary, which had a red carpet screening on Tuesday, lovingly chronicles Carioca's life, from when she first arrived in Cairo, penniless, relying on the kindness of strangers, to the success of her dancing and acting career, her 13 marriages and most importantly, her kindness and sense of justice.
She was Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Ginger Rogers all rolled into one. A sensual dancer, she was also a wonderful actress and tireless activist, patriotic to Egypt until the very end. "I remember when I was an assistant director for one of her movies. She was very sweet and kind, whenever anyone would come to talk to her, she gave them all of her attention. And when they needed her help, she was always ready...sometimes even volunteering or suggesting things herself!" Lotfy said.
Using archival footage of Carioca, as well as personal and professional observations, not only is the origin of the name Carioca revealed (it was a style of dance used by Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire) audiences are able to connect with the woman behind the image to discover just how rich her character really was.