Been awhile since I have been left horrified and speechless by a documentary.
Knowing the subject of the Egyptian revolution would be hard hitting, I walked
onto a field for the open air showing of and into the turmoil of The Square, a
punchy documentary that left me reeling from aesthetic and narrative
As Mohammad from Giza in Eqypt iterated in the Q and A after, and as the
documentary proved, the totality of the media reporting was woefully inadequate.
It was almost like the conflict went on too long to garner continued coverage.
The Egyptians were abandoned by the global press as much as the military
abandoned the protestors in this just over an hour and a half personal and
educational docu. The American Eqyptian film director Jahane Noujaim wove
personal narratives from the many sides involved in the conflict in Tahir Square
through striking scenes and stark background facts.
Ahmed, a young vocal advocate for the rights of the people, became
increasingly frustrated by the apathy surrounding him, the hypocrisy of the
military, and the divisions caused by the ideologies and shifting stances of the
interested parties. Likewise Magdy was frustrated by the Muslim Brotherhood and
their dealings with the protestors and the military. I still cannot get the
image of Ahmed taking a glancing shot from live rounds used on
the protestors by a military denouncing their usage out of my head. And I am still revolted and rocking from the shock, although not surprised, that American produced nerve gas was used in the hospitals that patched up the injured. Lots of promises were broken and lines crossed in this conflict. There is a roughness to the footage, often shot with hand held cameras. However, as a piece of reportage it is polished enough to have won many accolades, including from the Sundance and Toronto film festivals.
It is a documentary that at once informs and educates even the most
comprehensively informed of us. For any internationals I would highly recommend
watching the docu, and to any locals to head down to Richard Wagner Hain and
check out the ongoing films being shown by GlobalLE.
As previously mentioned, the event had a Q and A session led by Mohammad Okasha who works with refugees in Leipzig. He told us a little of his story and more about
what followed on from the documentary, as well as answering queries from the
audience. And let’s not forget, despite the dirth of coverage by the media this
conflict still goes on.