The Square – review | Mark Kermode

Jehane Noujaim’s documentary is a visceral reminder of Egypt’s ongoing power struggle

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“We dreamed that one day all of Egypt would be like Tahrir Square…” This remarkable ground-level documentary begins with fireworks bursting over Cairo in 2011 as protesters celebrate the resignation of President Mubarak. Yet over the next two years, the crowds must return time and again to “the square” as the battle for their country continues. Through urgent, hand-held camera footage we see armoured vehicles charging the crowds as bullets fly and bodies fall. Schisms with the Muslim Brotherhood give way to more protests; Morsi rises and falls; the streets become “our ballot box”. Meanwhile, the makeshift projections of “Cinema Tahrir” offer a visceral reminder of “why we are here, because only we can tell our stories”. It’s an astonishingly intimate account of an ongoing revolution, seen from within the heart of historic social upheaval; alarming, uplifting, empowering.

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