A film by Robin Greenspun
2023, 43 minutes
No. 418

In 2015, Egyptian writer, Ahmed Naji, was accused of referencing "transient lust and fleeting pleasure" in his novel, using life. He was sentenced to two years in prison. After 10 months in prison, Naji’s sentence was suspended and he was temporarily released but remained under a travel ban until the original sentence was overturned in 2018 and he was finally able to leave egypt. In 2019, he became a Beverly Rogers, Carol C. Harter black mountain institute city of asylum fellow at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas - an exiled writer in a new country, a new city and a new reality.
Through his narrative, For Vegas follows Ahmed as he finds his foothold in his adoptive city, striving to understand not only his own life as a writer in exile, but the life of a city whose roots were founded as a waystation, a temporary stop for so many over its storied history. Using the visual and cultural iconography of Las Vegas, at times a love letter, at times a cautionary tale, For Vegas is a poem for and about a city and its culture as told through the eyes and heart of a traveler, a migrant, a seeker of truths.

Winner, Best Documentary Feature, DC Independent Film Festival