The Square: An Intimate but Disturbing Look at the Egypt Uprising

I was lucky enough to watch this Oscar-nominated documentary recently. I’m really glad that the movie has been nominated for an Oscar. In fact it is the first Egyptian film to receive this honour. A quick summary of the movie from the official website:

The Egyptian Revolution has been an ongoing roller-coaster over the past two and a half years. Through the news, we only get a glimpse of the bloodiest battle, an election, or a million man march. At the beginning of July 2013, we witnessed the second president deposed within the space of three years.

The Square is an immersive experience, transporting the viewer deeply into the intense emotional drama and personal stories behind the news. It is the inspirational story of young people claiming their rights, struggling through multiple forces, in the fight to create a society of conscience.

I was having a conversation with some colleagues on the movie earlier today and one of them said,

“Well, didn’t the revolution fail?

With all that is happening in Egypt now, you would think so, but after watching this movie, you’ll soon realize that the entire revolution is a long and ongoing process and the people themselves believe that there will be no overnight change.

You can watch the trailer below or by clicking on this link:

The Square focuses on several characters who guide us through the joy in Tahrir Square and the roller-coaster that followed Mubarak‘s departure. You’ll get to see first hand the scenes from the square, the lives of people affected by it, the deaths, the violence by the army and the determination of the people. The initial movie was released in January 2013 but following changes in Egypt (the coup and overthrow of President Morsi), the director decided to head back and continue filming for a few additional months. It’s still left hanging since there are so many changes taking place in Egypt as we speak but Jehane Noujaim manages to end the film well.

My favourite characters in the documentary were Ahmed Hassan (pictured above) and British/Egyptian actor, Khalid Abdalla (Kite Runner), who leaves his life in London to join the revolution, discovering a profound sense of his Egyptian identity in the process.

Overall, this is one film you do not want to miss. I do hope they will win the much coveted Oscar and who knows, maybe this film will be officially shown in cinemas here in Malaysia. Until then, you have the option of watching it online via Netflix (using VPN) for a small fee.

Kugan Kumar

V.Kugantharan is the founder of Joy With Music, where he teaches adults and kids the joys of playing the piano. He also runs a web design agency, 504 Studios. A father of a very "opinionated" four-year-old, he divides his time between his passions -- blogging, reading, music, design and books.

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