The Square (Documentary-War-Drama)

square“Winning a battle brings morale, but uncertainty grows when you realize your next battle is against a presumed ally”

This documentary depicts the modern historical tale of the 2011 non-violent protests that took over the Tahrir Square in Egypt for almost 3 weeks.  This occupation of the landmark was used to passively persuade Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to resign and give control to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.  With the presidents resignation, hopes of liberty and reform was on the brink of reality, but a few months later the square began to fill up once again.

The story was technically told through the eyes of six revolutionaries, but only two men stood out as the main protagonists of the film.  One of the men is Khalid Abdalla, who is a Hollywood actor best known for his role in The Kite Runner.  Khalid was the man who could reach the world media through his notoriety, and share footage and updates.  The other man was Ahmed Hassan, the native revolutionary seen at the front lines passionately recruiting and fighting alongside his fellow patriots.  Having these two perspectives provided the audience with two very different objectives yet paralleled their ideas towards a common goal.

One critique is that the actual demands of the people was glazed over, and for people not as knowledgeable on this topic, this may have discredited their cause.  The reason for the first protest is well explained, but when new powers came to be and no “change occurred” there were protests again 3 months later without any tangible requests at the forefront.

In essence this film brought you in the middle of the revolution, shooting footage at the square with millions as well as on the dangerous battlefront during the protests.  The violence, death, and mayhem was very real and may have been unsettling to some viewers.  Nevertheless this portrayal of the circumstances was necessary to provide unfiltered coverage, and inevitably generating a strong emotional impact.  You ate, sang, and fought in the company of these revolutionaries which made everything feel much more personal.  By the end you really wanted a resolution, even though at the back of your mind you know this issue is still going on to this day.

 

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