Documentaries tend to tell stories that have already happened. So a documentary that brings you into the middle of an ongoing story is a welcome change, especially when that story is one as inflammatory as the ongoing revolution in Egypt. When The Square was released in the U.S. in mid-October of last year, much of what it depicted had yet to be resolved, and this still holds true today. Egyptian director Jehane Noujaim follows several participants in the revolution that began in the titular Tahrir Square in Cairo: the famous Egyptian actor, Khalid Abdalla (United 93, The Kite Runner), who uses his clout to generate publicity and support for the grassroots revolution; Ahmed and Aida, two students who are among the most vocal of the revolutionaries; and Magdy, who is in support of the revolution, but whose allegiances ultimately lie with the Muslim Brotherhood, an ancillary organization whose motives are less than clear. The Square‘s occasionally fractured structure gives you the impression that you’re in the middle of the action, giving this hugely important event all the immediacy it deserves.
Quicker take: If ‘Fight the Power’ were a movie, and in Arabic.