The Egyptian Revolution has been an ongoing rollercoaster over the past two and a half years. Through the news, we only get a glimpse of the bloodiest battle, an election, or a million man march. At the beginning of July 2013, we witnessed the second president deposed within the space of three years.
The Square is an immersive experience, transporting the viewer deeply into the intense emotional drama and personal stories behind the news. It is the inspirational story of young people claiming their rights, struggling through multiple forces, in the fight to create a society of conscience.
British-Egyptian actor and filmmaker, star of The Kite Runner, United 93 and Green Zone. Inspired by the activism of his father who was jailed in Egypt in the 70s and has lived in exile, Khalid leaves his life in London to join the revolution, discovering a profound sense of his Egyptian identity in the process.
A father of four, Magdy was abducted and tortured under Mubarak’s rule for being part of the banned Muslim Brotherhood. Unlikely friends, Magdy and Khalid met in Tahrir during the 18 days and their exchange of ideas and viewpoints means a lot to them.
From the working-class district of Shobra, Ahmed is a born storyteller and street revolutionary. He is a key part of the defense of Tahrir in the 18 days leading up to Mubarak’s resignation, and all of the occupations of the square since. His hope is to create a new society of conscience in Egypt.
Plain speaking and passionate, Ragia is on the frontline of the Human Rights movement in Egypt, bringing her into direct conflict with the Military Council. Ragia’s experience of the daily frustrations of trying to represent imprisoned protesters and civilians takes us to the frontline of the legal battle for the future of Egypt.
Unknown before Tahrir, Ramy becomes the unofficial singer-songwriter of the revolution with a massive following. From a small town outside Cairo, his songs become the soundtrack to the revolution.
Aida is a filmmaker from Cairo who sets up the first tent in Tahrir Square at the beginning of the revolution. She documents events as they unravel around her, co-founds a citizen journalism organisation and puts on public screenings around the country to fight against state propaganda.
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The young revolutionaries in our film are armed with nothing more than cameras, social media, videos posted to YouTube, and a resolute determination to liberate their nation. The film is made in a cinéma vérité style, giving us an up-close view of revolution from the ground. New technologies show us that the voice of young people cannot be silenced in this digital age. Our characters are fighting an ancient war with new weapons.
Featured in the film, Khalid and Aida co-founded Mosireen, a collective of individuals turning their cameras towards those in authority to hold them accountable for their actions in the square and beyond. Check them out and see how you can get involved.
While our characters put their lives on the line to battle the largest standing army in the Middle East with nothing but stones, we as filmmakers were right behind them with our cameras. By living with our characters for nearly three years, we were also able to capture the personal sacrifices behind the headlines.