“The Square”

Bobby Shipman

Raw footage, brutal imagery and real-life stories provide a shocking look into the ongoing Egyptian Revolution in Netflix’s documentary “The Square.”

The documentary, directed by Jehane Noujaim, tails six young activists through the resignation of Hosni Mubarak. After 30 years of power, the bloody battles with the Egyptian military, the million march and the fall of a second president ended.

“The Square,” nominated for a 2014 Academy Award for Best Documentary, starts with the beginning of the revolution as protestors construct their tents in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in opposition of president Mubarak.

The film then takes you through the euphoria that follows the revolution’s successes and the traumatic fall-out of its short-lived happiness.

I have to admit, before watching “The Square,” I had only seen glimpses of the harsh battles in Egypt and knew only a sliver of the information the documentary revealed. “The Square” dropped me, as a viewer, right in the eye of the storm as protestors defended themselves against merciless military with rocks (and camcorders) as their only weapons.

I encourage even the faintest-of-heart to endure the graphic imagery in Noujaim’s cinematic diary. The passion expressed both politically and aesthetically by the activists was profound and moving.images

Ahmed Hassan, a street revolutionary, tugged at my heartstrings the most with gripping speeches as one of the key defenders of the square. Every person profiled exudes an astonishing amount of courage and resilience in the face of adversity, including the daring filmmakers who took a huge risk in the making of “The Square.”

Even if one knows only minuscule details about the current climate in Egypt, I think it is important we all watch Noujaim’s eye-opening documentary, available for streaming on Netflix Watch Instant and Blu-ray/DVD.

2013-11-18-p01jgvby“We’re not looking for a leader as much as we’re looking for a conscience,” Hassan said at the close of the film. “The thing is, if we are able to create this conscience within society, we’ll be able to find a good president. We are not looking for a leader to rule us.”