Fiche Film
LONG Métrage | 2013
The Square (Al Midan)
Pays concerné : Égypte
Durée : 99 minutes
Genre : politique
Type : documentaire


Les coulisses de la révolution égyptienne. Portrait d’un groupe de militants à Tahrir Square, risquant leur vie afin de construire une société pétrie de conscience.

Réalisatrice : Jehane Noujaim

Egypte / USA, 2013, Documentaire, Arabe / anglais, 1h39 minutes



The Egyptian Revolution – The story Behind the headlines.

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 this month, 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: from a brutal army dictatorship willing to crush protesters with military tanks, to a corrupt Muslim Brotherhood using mosques to manipulate voters.

Directed by Jehane Noujaim

Egypt / USA, 2013, Documentary, Arabic / English, 1hr39 minutes

This documentary epic is the result of director Jehane Noujaim (Control Room) and her crew’s dogged chronicling of activism, unrest and revolution in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

For more than two years, Egyptians have turned out in massive numbers to occupy Cairo’s Tahrir Square and demand change from their leaders. During the many dramatic shifts over that time, director Jehane Noujaim and her crew have captured what’s happened in the square through the eyes of several young revolutionaries. They range in background from poor to privileged and secular to religious. Their multiple viewpoints are revelatory whether you’ve followed these events closely or not at all.

This past January at the Sundance Film Festival, Noujaim screened a work-in-progress that, despite its unfinished state, won an Audience Award. Her team continued filming this summer to capture pivotal moments for her main subjects against the backdrop of protests that led to the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi.

The film plays like an epic with multiple real-life characters, scenes of intense action, and suspense. The passions of people fighting to improve their country are infectious. Among those we meet starting in 2011 are Ahmed, a charismatic example of Egypt’s disenfranchised youth; Magdy, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood; and Khalid Abdalla, an accomplished actor (who starred in The Kite Runner) putting his career on hold to document the revolution. We watch them experience the euphoria of bringing an end to the corrupt thirty-year regime of President Hosni Mubarak. Then we see the shifting of alliances among the power centres of the military, the Muslim Brotherhood and secularist revolutionaries. Each group struggles to gain control of the square amidst tear gas, tanks and live ammunition.

What comes next for Egypt remains to be seen. But to gain insight on what’s happened so far, The Square is essential viewing.

THOM POWERS (TIFF 2013, Toronto)


Khaled Abdalla

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.

Magdy Ashour
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.

Ahmed Hassan
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.

Ragia Omran
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.

Ramy Essam
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 El Kashef
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.

Director: Jehane Noujaim
Countries: Egypt / USA
Year: 2013
Language: Arabic, English
Runtime: 99 minutes
Rating: 14A
Exec. Producer: Geralyn Dreyfous, Jodie Evans, Sarah Johnson, Mike Lerner, Khalil Nougaim, Lekha Singh
Producer: Karim Amer
Production Co.: Noujaim Films, Maktube Productions, Worldview Entertainment
Principal Cast: Khalid Abdalla, Magdy Ashour, Aida ElKashef, Ramy Essam, Ahmed Hassan, Ragia Omran
Cinematographer: Muhammad Hamdy, Ahmed Hassan, Cressida Trew
Editor: Christopher De La Torre, Pierre Haberer, Pedro Kos, Mohamed El Manasterly, Stefan Ronowitz
Music: H. Scott Salinas, Jonas Colstrup
U.S. Sales Agent: Cinetic Media

* WORLD PREMIERE (Première Mondiale).
* Wins: People’s Choice Documentary Award (Audience award)
* Projection/Screening: Friday September 6 / The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema / 9:15 PM
* Projection/Screening: Saturday September 7 / Scotiabank 13 / 5:30 PM
* Projection/Screening: Friday September 13 / The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema / 3:00 PM

2013 | Sundance Film Festival
* Selection (unfinished cut)
* World Documentary Cinema Audience Award
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