Digital Participation (Film Review): The Square
Wow. Just wow. I’m not one for documentaries, but I thoroughly enjoyed The Square. The Square takes place in the heart of the action in Tahir Square during 2011-2013. The film takes us through the revolutions in Egypt through the eyes of Egyptian youth who are fairly close to our age. The film is shot so we really feel like we are going through the same experiences as the revolutionaries. We are silent companions as we hear each of them defend their beliefs and sacrifice everything in order to make their voices heard. This is a very strong point of the movie. You basically enter the revolutionaries’ lives. There is a very powerful scene when former Hollywood actor, Khalid Abdalla is telling his father via Skype that he does not care what happens to him as long as he is able to protest in the square. The viewer learns that Tahir Square is more than a spot for a revolution. It becomes a community with life and music. Actually, the music is one of the highlights of this film. My personal favorite storyline is the storyline of Ahmed Hassan. He is sort of the de facto main character and we see him age from a passionate (and rather naïve) revolutionary to a hardened and mature one. In this way he is sort of like Isaac in All Our Names, though without the murdering. While this documentary does take you through an emotional roller coaster, it does leave you with a sensation of hope. You see a lot of dark and horrible things, (I do not want to get too specific to keep the shock value) but yet there is also good. You see laughter. You see love. You see sides coming together. You see art. It shows to the viewer that the Egyptian revolution is more than a political revolution; it’s also a cultural one.