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Amira Zubairi

A Revolutionary Documentary

The spectacular, Oscar-nominated documentary "The Square," by Jehane Noujaim, takes a compelling, exclusive look at the flowing series of revolutions and counterrevolutions that have quaked Egypt’s Tahrir Square since 2011. In this vibrant and enveloping film, viewers are taken on an emotional journey of hope, betrayal, chaos, perseverance, and exceptional courage of revolutionaries seeking justice for their society.  The real-life characters that Noujaim assembled to tell Egypt’s political story for the past three years give the film an eye-opening luminance. Taking to the streets first to eliminate the dictator Hosni Mubarak, then to protest against military rule, and finally to stand up against the presidency of Mohamed Morsi, the diverse group of people continuously return to Tahrir Square to demonstrate the many sides of Egyptian society: secular, religious, conservative, broad-minded, working-class, and elite. The film’s narrator, Ahmed Hassan, is a young, spirited man who is drawn to the square with dreams of fairness and freedom. With these values, he becomes an active mediator of the change that occurs, and presents reasoning about the necessity for change to anyone who will listen, drawing crowds and engaging in passionate political debates. When informing Noujaim about his efforts to enlighten people about the revolution, he says, “I find myself giving a speech to 40 or 50 people every two hours.” Certainly, Hassan’s ability to use his voice to gain the support of his fellow Egyptian brothers and sisters suggests a key element of his motivation to make a difference. The actor British-Egyptian actor Khalid Abdalla (best known in his performance in the “The Kite Runner”) is also featured in the documentary. Abdalla continuously consults his father with tactics and goals to determine the best approach to the revolution, while his father occasionally tries to dissuade his son from getting into trouble. Magdy Ashour,… Read More