In February 2011, Egyptians‚ÄĒparticularly young ones‚ÄĒshowed the world the way people demanding change can drive an entire nation to transformation. The result was a profound movement toward democracy that is still evolving across the Arab world. The Square, a new film by Jehane Noujaim (Control Room; Rafea: Solar Mama), looks at the hard realities faced day-to-day by people working to build Egypt‚Äôs new democracy. Catapulting us into the action spread across 2011 and 2012, the film provides a kaleidoscopic, visceral experience of the struggle. Cairo‚Äôs Tahrir Square is the heart and soul of the film, which follows several young activists. Armed with values, determination, music, humor, an abundance of social media, and sheer obstinacy, they know that the thorny path to democracy only began with Hosni Mubarek‚Äôs fall. The life-and-death struggle between the people and the power of the state is still playing out.
MEET THE FILMMAKERS
Jehane Noujaim began her career as a photographer and filmmaker in Cairo, Egypt. She attended Harvard University and was awarded the Gardiner Fellowship. She then joined the MTV news and documentary division as a producer for the series Unfiltered. Noujaim left her producing job at MTV to produce and direct Startup.com, which played as part of Sundance's documentary competition in 2001. The film won numerous awards, including the Directors Guild of America and IDA Awards for best documentary. In 2004, she directed the highly acclaimed film Control Room, which premiered at Sundance in 2004. After winning the TED Prize in 2006, Jehane used her wish to organize Pangea Day, a 4-hour, live show featuring short films used for social change, which was broadcast internationally in 2008.