Nova Frontier Film Festival Presents THE TRAP Review — Hope for Escape

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A young couple walks down a street bookended by dense greenery, the young man’s arm is around the young woman. As two men pass, she pushes her boyfriend’s arm away, and he lashes out in anger at a nearby telephone pole, hitting it with their freshly-bought bag of groceries. The sudden sound of a dog barking breaks the silence that follows. Ominous music swells as the young man fades into a cloud of smoke.

Their names are Aya and Islam, whom we follow as they retreat to an abandoned seaside resort in Egypt, where we spend most of the film in their dreary and run-down apartment. Throughout the film the sense of isolation is palpable as Aya looks forlornly toward the cerulean ocean. Her only link to the outside world is her phone, but even that is invaded by Islam, who seeks to discern her motives for making calls.

Nova Frontier Film Festival THE TRAP
Nova Frontier Film Festival THE TRAP

As we watch her frantically type while his back is turned, we are privy to Aya’s hidden wish to escape, along with her fear of him finding out. Dissonant and agitated music comes to the forefront whenever she approaches Islam, an aspect that this viewer finds allows us to share the fear that Aya does her best to hide.

Nova Frontier Film Festival Explores Emotional Abuse

THE TRAP is harrowing, in a word. The content in this 20-minute film may be triggering to some, particularly those who have trauma relating to abusive relationships. But for those who are interested in the psychological aspects of relationships, this short is a must-see.


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Length: 20 minutes

Shaza Moharam: Aya
Islam Alaa: Islam
Nabil Nour El Din: Shopkeep

Creative Team:
Nada Riyadh (director)

For more information, visit the website for THE TRAP.

Images courtesy of Lights on Film.

For more information on the Nova Frontier Film Festival where this film was featured visit the Nova Frontier Film Festival website


Connor Grehan
Connor Grehan

About the Author:

Connor Grehan is a History and Film student at Vassar College. A longtime music student, he plays the French Horn, participating in the school orchestra and even a whistling a capella group. He likes to read books and play video games in his spare time, organizing tournaments and other events at school.

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