Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Square (Al Midan) - A Sundance Film Review


The Square (Al Midan)

World Documentary (Egypt)
90 minutes
English & Arabic with English Subtitles

Directed by Jehane Noujaim (Control Room; Rafea; Solar Mama) this is an enlightening and eye opening documentary film that details the struggle for democracy behind the ongoing revolution in Egypt. The focal point is on Cairo's Tahrir Square where we follow an array of young adults who are at the cusp of social change in their country. They find themselves scattered and unable to unite protestors originally gathered together because of pleas sent out on social media sites. Once Hosni Mubarek steps down, the military steps in with a heavy hand on those desiring democracy. Because the protestors are not united as a group, when the elections come around, the Muslim Brotherhood stealthily slip one of their own into power. It continues to be a fight for freedom, justice and peace in a country where every day is a life and death struggle.

While watching this film, I felt privileged for the freedom I have. However, I keep reflecting that the emphasis was on a freedom from something: economic oppression, religious persecution, oppressive governmental laws, and corruption. Yet, true freedom is a freedom for something, for others. Freedom is about self-giving love. The film progressed from the protestors being angry and passionate to  growing in compassion for one another, their fellow democracy-dreamers, and those who were injured or killed. Freedom is a state of being, one that is internal first of all. But when there is external oppression and hindrance on freedom, the internal freedom of self cannot have full expression. 

On a personal note, I sat on a bus with the director's mother and told her that I felt the film was very impressive. She said her daughter, Jehane, was nervous waiting for the audience's reactions at each of the screenings and she was pleased when she receive such a interested response. I told her I would be praying for her daughter and for their country.   

1 comment:

Margaret Kerry, fsp said...

Glad you had this opportunity! Thanks for the review. I look ff to more.