Film Review: The Square (2013)
Film Title: The Square
Director: Jehane Noujaim
Actors: Khalid Abdalla, Ahmed Hassan, Magdy Ashour etc…
The Square is a riveting documentary, which tells the true story of the revolution in Egypt shortly after President Mubarak decided to step down. This film flows through the years that followed after Mubarak’s military regime, which only then got replaced by the brotherhood, and evidently Morsi, a presidential candidate and adamant brotherhood supporter who took power and became the president of Egypt. This film aims to capture the true essence of the revolution in Egypt, those who are in the front lines and willing to fight against tyranny, and what these revolutionists are really trying to achieve: equality and democracy.
The square follows the story of a young man who is a peace advocate within his native country of Egypt. The documentary starts off by capturing his journey and evidently one of the most amazing revolutionary feats within Egypt’s history: the taking of Tahrir square and Mubarak’s decision to step down. The film recounts what it was like to be within Tahrir square at that moment in time, fighting against the regime and reuniting all Egyptians together for a single cause despite their religious or ethnic descent. The images within the movie showing the million man march in Tahrir square, and the joy that the people of Egypt felt within that moment really moves you. It makes you understand the struggle that these people have felt all their lives, the oppression that they have experienced by the military regime and the joy that they feel in the hopes of moving towards a more democratic society. The happy beginning really sets the tone for the goals in which these young activists are trying to achieve, and the symbolism that Tahrir Square represents for the nation’s people.
The middle of the movie is really where it takes a dramatic turn. We now not only see the threat coming from the military leaders, but also the corrupt Muslim brotherhood leaders. After all that Egypt had accomplished in defeating Mubarak, they were undoubtedly back to square one. Both Ahmed and Khalid, two young revolutionaries who dream of a democratic future for their country, are faced with many obstacles and violent beatings amongst both parties involved. The revolutionists are taken to the streets and forced to fight, something that they absolutely never wanted to be apart of, against the military and brotherhood regimes. Both of these powerful forces resort to violence in order to shut up the activists that still believe in creating a voice for the people.
Much of the conversations heard within this film are political in nature, and really open your eyes to the atrocities witnessed in other countries, and what the people of Egypt have had to do all in the name of providing a voice for the people and improving their lives. Khalid Abdalla is a very prominent figure within the revolutionary movement in Egypt. He has been the face of many discussions regarding the political unrest in Egypt, and was also the actor in the Kite Runner. His passion and dedication to creating a democratic Egypt is unparalleled. Even after the outburst of violent attacks that ensued against the revolutionists, he always believes in a better future and that his purpose in life is to help his people envision a better future for themselves. The young Ahmed is the same way; you see his struggles along the way but he never gives up on his people and their ultimate vision for the future. It is inspiring to follow these young men through their journey’s, and to see all that they are willing to do in order to reach a just society.
Even though this documentary is emotional and at times hard to watch, it is a must see. It depicts footage that has never been seen before by news channels and broadcasts, who dare not show the full extent of the revolution in Egypt. However, it is also an inspiring film that breeds hope for the future, and the future of Egypt. I felt moved, inspired, shocked and invigorated all at the same time while watching this film, and it is definitely a memorable experience.
You can catch the film on Netflix at any time. Watch the trailer below if you are interested, and make sure to leave some comments regarding the documentary, we’d love to hear everyone’s opinions!
Trailer: The Square (2013)