In February 2011, Egyptians—particularly young ones—showed the world the way people demanding change can drive an entire nation to transformation. The result was a profound movement toward democracy that is still evolving across the Arab world…
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Aside from being impressed at its even-handedness in covering the events in Cairo that have led to the fall of not one, but two regimes since January 2011 – and counting, I was also very impressed – almost too impressed – by the quality of its cinematography.
The actions of a media collective become legible only as individual initiative. And as valuable as The Square is, this individual focus becomes its downfall again and again. Making a comprehensible story out of the chaos of the ongoing Egyptian Revolution has meant reducing it to the efforts of a few exceptionally talented speakers and artists.
It’s an extremely harrowing documentary, particularly in the way that the drama oscillates between the extreme elation of collective action helping to topple a military dictator, and the bone-shattering nightmares of running street battles and the realisation that everything you previously laid your life on the line for was for naught.
A truly penetrating, and sharply realized look at the harsh realities of struggle for political freedom, what is most incredible about The Square is despite the death and violence brought about by revolution, the undefeated optimism of its characters as they seek to make a better future for their country. Its gritty style puts the viewer into Tahrir itself, from its greatest triumphs to rawest horror. Watch it.
The Square is such a phenomenal documentary piece that truly sticks with you long after finishing it. The ground-level style of filmmaking puts you right in all of the terrible action, even though you are always aware of how unaware you really are. An eye-opening companion to Winter On Fire.
I've seen this three times and each times I am moved by the passion of the participants and their struggle. Particularly interesting is how the different perspectives/positions of the activists are engaged, come into conflict, and are worked out. Also the use of media in this struggle is very important. Each viewing becomes even more heartbreaking with the knowledge of what has happened since.
"Tak[ing] [viewers] on an immensely moving emotional journey through hope, betrayal, perseverance and surpassing courage ... The Square is altogether remarkable: elegantly shot and structured but infused with rough, spontaneous energy; global in its consciousness but intimate in its approach; carefully pitched but emotionally wrenching; deeply troubling but ultimately exhilarating."-Ann Hornaday, Washington Post 4.5
A vital and vivid documentary chronicling the Egyptian protests in Tahrir Square which toppled the regime of Hosni Mubarak and was only the beginning of the struggle as the country was taken over by military rule, and the revolutionary movement co-opted by the Muslim Brotherhood to establish a Islamic regime led by Mohommad Morsi. Jehane Noujaim's filmmaking is urgent and passionate. The revolution will be televised.