Jan 16 2014
Egyptians voted on a new constitution this week, and unofficial results are putting the figure at a whopping 98% yes votes. The referendum is the latest chapter in an on-going revolution whose end is still quite opaque. Violence has marred the vote with many factions of the population having boycotted, while many of those voting may be grudgingly accepting of a powerful military as a necessary evil.
But it was a mere three years ago that hundreds of thousands of Egyptians started to gather in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on January 25th 2011. Eighteen days of protests later, the decades-long dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak came to an end.
It was an exciting, moving story of how a nation can unite and bring down an entrenched regime through the sheer force of people power. But in the years following Mubarak’s fall, Egypt’s revolutionary story continues to unfold. In a few short years, elections were held, a President was elected, and then just as quickly, ousted by the military. Today, Egypt’s future remains uncertain, and the energy and optimism that was present in Tahrir Square three years ago has faded.
That is the story that film maker Jehane Noujaim manages to capture in her highly acclaimed documentary, The Square. Profiling a small group of the countless protesters in Tahrir, Noujaim tells the story of what happened in Egypt in 2011 and 2012. The Square premiered at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, winning a major award. It has also been nominated for the Directors Guild Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentaries for 2013 and was just announced this morning as one of the five nominees for best Documentary Feature by the Academy awards. The Square will open in select theaters and streaming on Netflix this Friday.
GUESTS: Jehane Noujaim, the director, and Karim Amer, the Producer of The Square
Visit the film’s website at www.thesquarefilm.com.