(DVD / NR / 2015 / MVD Visual)
Overview: 'The Square is a 2013 Egyptian-American documentary film by Jehane Noujaim, which depicts the ongoing Egyptian Revolution of 2011 from its roots in Tahrir Square.
DVD Verdict: 'The Square' first premiered on January 17th, 2013 at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award for World Cinema in the documentary category. Due to the ongoing nature of the Egyptian Revolution, Noujaim updated the ending of the film over the summer of 2013. The film was subsequently also named winner of the People's Choice Award in the documentary category at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.
Simply put, 'The Square' is a powerful movie with its focus on the quest for freedom and the desire to escape the prisons of oppression, violence, and evil leaders animated by merciless power and total disregard for human rights. On and off between late 2010 and 2013, thousands of protesters against "injustice, corruption, poverty, ignorance" filled Tahrir Square in Cairo.
But it was not over when Mubarak was ousted as the military took control. The people once again marched to the square demanding civilian rule. We see incredible footage of the people's occupation of Tahrir Square, the violent attacks on the protesters, and heated political arguments in the street as secular Muslims express their embarrassment at the religious-based oppression by the newly powerful Brotherhood.
The production is done in the native languages of its cast, and is presented with English subtitles. 'The Square' received universal acclaim and even had the Chicago Tribune describing it as "A compelling inside look at the cascading series of revolutions and counterrevolutions that have shaken Egypt since the beginning of 2011."
I truth, 'The Square' underscores what always seems to be happening in the Mideast — an overreaction by the Army in response to civil upheaval (the situation in Syria is far worse, resulting in thousands upon thousands of deaths). I would have liked to see a few foot soldiers interviewed also, just to get their point of view (in addition to a general, Noujaim obtained access to an officer, who defends the military point of view).
Noujaim also conscripts Khalid Abdalla, the noted actor of Kite Runner fame, to offer up an international perspective on the Egyptian situation. Abdalla, with his beautiful, cultured voice, makes perhaps the most eloquent plea, for reform in Egypt today.
In conclusion, 'The Square' was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 86th Academy Awards. It also won three Emmy Awards at the 66th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards, out of four for which it was nominated. I think that says it all. Buy it today, you will not regret it. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of Over 90 Minutes of Deleted Scenes and Never Before Seen Footage!