The Square (2013)

“The Square bears witness to history in an articulate, thoughtful and intensely dramatic way. A compelling inside look at the cascading series of revolutions and counter-revolutions that have shaken Egypt since the beginning of 2011, it wouldn't exist except for the passion and determination of filmmaker Jehane Noujaim.
“An accomplished documentary director Noujaim was raised in Egypt and the United States, and her family lives 10 minutes from Cairo's Tahrir Square, the film's namesake. That intimate connection pushed her to keep working on The Square, expanding its focus at a time other filmmakers would have said the case was closed.
“In January of last year an earlier version of The Square was receiving the coveted Audience Award for World Cinema Documentary at Sundance. But learning that demonstrators were returning to the square to protest the enhanced powers of newly elected President Mohamed Morsi, she unhesitatingly returned to film for six more months. That extra footage, which covers events up to Morsi's ouster by the Egyptian military in early July, changes the whole nature of the movie, giving The Square a richness and sense of dramatic closure it would not otherwise have had.
“The Square provides a vivid sense of the ebb and flow of events and emotions in Egypt, using interview and actuality footage to put us inside this volatile situation, enabling us to share the alternating euphoria and despair of the people whose actions we follow.
“The film demonstrates how Tahrir functions as a touchstone, almost a sacred space, a source of power where protesters would invariably return as the situation changed. Which it frequently did. The Square does a masterful job of making the entire tale both personal and authoritative.” - Kenneth Turan, LA Times


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