Daphne Peña presents this slightly fictionalized autobiographical tale of an American woman who travels to Egypt to get away from an ex-boyfriend and immerse herself in the belly dance culture, improving her dancing and even becoming a mistress.
Peña is not by any means an exceptional belly dancer, but there is a certain quality to her that makes her interesting to watch. She plays both a version of herself and her Russian hostess, friend and mentor, though her Russian hostess is far more interesting. It doesnt hurt that she is accompanied by some exceptional musicians who, in many ways, steal the show.
The stories told are an interesting window into a culture that is entirely unfamiliar to those of us in the West, and would have been plenty to satisfy the audience. It is during the digressions about her personal life (ex-boyfriend troubles, etc.) that it becomes easy to lose interest.