The Square

2013 | Documentary | 108 minutes | Arabic with English subtitles


In the winter of 2011, thousands of protesters gathered in Tahrir Square to demand the removal of the dictatorial President Hosni Mubarak. They succeeded. But then in the summer of 2013 they continued their protests seeking the removal of Mubarak’s successor, Mohamed Morsi and his ultra-religious followers in the Muslim Brotherhood. Filmmaker Jehane Noujaim featured several individuals to highlight these momentous events: Ahmed Hassan was a working-class young man who was an articulate and vocal leader; Hassan’s friend, Khalid Abdallah, an actor, transmitted these events in video chats; Magdy Ashour was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, a large, fanatical opposition group; Aida El Kashef, one of many filmmakers recording the protests; and Ramy Essam, a singer and songwriter who sang and composed songs about the uprising. It’s a vivid documentary demonstrating the fight of so  many people for freedom in an oppressed, brutal dictatorship.

Ahmed Hassan / Magdy Ashour / Khalid Abdalla / Aida El- Kashef / Ramy Essam
Why Stream This Film?
This superb documentary shows how oppressed people, determined and passionate, risking death, can force political changes in their country. But the documentary also shows that these changes can be slow and not always completely resolved. Ahmed Hassan, one of the major participants, remarked philosophically when the protests began to ebb, “We are not looking for a new leader. We are looking for a conscience.” 
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 100%
  • Metacritic Score: 84
  • Academy Awards: Nominated, Best Documentary Feature
  • Sundance Film Festival: Audience Award for World Cinema Documentary
  • It received a perfect 100% rating from Rotten Tomatoes
THE SQUARE bears witness to history in an articulate, thoughtful and intensely dramatic way. A compelling inside look at the cascading series of revolutions and counter-revolutions that have shaken Egypt since the beginning of 2011. This documentary wouldn’t exist except for the passion and determination of filmmaker Jehane Noujaim.
Kenneth Turan

Los Angeles Times

An entrancing and sharply crafted view of the political changes that have convulsed Egypt since the onset of the Arab Spring. Noujaime’s chronicling of this recent history is brisk, mostly street-level and sometimes electrifying.
Godfrey Cheshire

Ms. Noujaim and her team of brave, tireless camera operators—shooting at street level and from high-rise buildings above the square—capture the excitement of a mass movement finding its voice and feeling its potential.
A.O. Scott

The New York Times

THE SQUARE, about the popular uprising in Egypt that began with the 2011 overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, is a powerhouse documentary that takes us into the eyes of several storms.
Peter Rainer

The Christian Science Monitor

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