The Square (Al Midan) (2013)
Critic Consensus: The Square offers an electrifying -- and edifying -- ground-level glimpse of life inside a real-life political revolution.
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Critic Reviews for The Square (Al Midan)
Noujaim's film attests to how quickly joyous weeping in the streets gave way to sectarian arguments over the army's role and fissures in promising alliances.
If the resulting film is unwieldy - five editors, five "additional editors," and six assistant editors are credited - it also brims with angry urgency.
The camera becomes a revolutionary: running, chasing, breathlessly jittery, up in the face of interrogators.
Epitomizes nonfiction film not just as a way to deepen knowledge and understanding, but also as an art form.
What does a revolution feel like from the inside? I'm not sure we'll ever get closer than "The Square," an electrifying, at times heartbreaking documentary from the Egypt-born, Harvard-educated documentarian Jehane Noujaim.
Audience Reviews for The Square (Al Midan)
The direction is not flawless, with the camera constantly going out of focus, but this essential film remains an inspiring testament to the power of protests and the voice of the people, especially in times when rebellions ought to come up everywhere against abusive regimes.
For what it is, "The Square" will attract many viewers solely based on it's true display of young adults fighting for their right to freedom in many areas of life. The imagery is brutally realistic and almost made me look away. I give props to these guys for making such a touchy film, but they pulled it off. It is a bit boring, and much of the same questions are asked and answered multiple times, but it is a very effective film that will be in my head for a while. The imagery has scarred my brain. I just cannot believe how some people in the world behave. Overall, it is a well put together film that deserves it's nominations. Displayed first through Netflix, this opened the film to many viewers around the world. I honestly cannot recommend this film, and I will never watch it again, but I admired it.
Most importantly, "The Square" brings cohesion and clarity to the story of Egypt's ongoing revolution since the Arab Spring that began nearly 3 years ago today. The film is structured into chapters of each power-shifting protest that has made its way into western media over the past few years, and we follow a few revolutionaries to get their perspectives on the reasons of each protest movement and their thoughts on the aftermath. Their words are as perceptive and inspirational as the footage shown of their fellow Egyptians, and by the end this documentary makes a cautionary and exciting case for both the future of Egypt and of ours as a global community. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, "You will never be what you ought to be until they are what they ought to be."
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