Documentary – France, Italy / UK Première
Stefano Savona / France/Italy / 2011 / 91 min
This week, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood was sworn in as President of Egypt, eighteen months after people first took to the streets in protest against the Mubarak regime. Now is the best time to look back on the historic chain of events which has led the people of Egypt to this moment. And there will be few better ways to this than to watch Stefano Savona’s enthralling documentary.
There’s no time for breath with Tahrir: Liberation Square; from the word go, the audience is engulfed by a tide of screaming, shouting and talking. Face after face approach the camera to descant on the state of Egypt, tell their stories, or conduct a chorus of anti-Mubarak chanting. The strength of the film lies in its ability to place you in the action. The passion and determination of those filmed is palpable, and often gives a Western audience thoughts to reflect upon (one young activist’s comment about how the Muslim Brotherhood is portrayed in Western media a particularly salient example). Savona manages to capture some of the most important moments of the revolution with astonishing intimacy. More than anything else though, this film radiates optimism and unity. As one aged protester says, ‘we are all fingers on the same hand’. Let’s hope that’s the precedent.
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