The Square is an intimate observational documentary that tells an immersive story of the ongoing struggle of the Egyptian Revolution. Beginning in the tents of Tahrir Square in the days leading up to the fall of Mubarak and the departure of the international news cameras, we follow our characters on their life-changing journey through the euphoria of victory into the uncertainties and dangers of the current 'transitional period' under military rule, where everything they fought for is now under threat. They soon find the transformative power of their youthful idealism, which had toppled a dictator and inspired the world, confronting an embedded military power structure that has been ruling the country for over 60 years and a rising radical Islamic political power hijacking their revolution. While much of the world saw that the Egyptian Revolution had been won in February 2011, our characters had only just begun their struggle for the transformation of their nation.
About the director
Egyptian-American filmmaker Jehane Noujaim has worked on various documentaries in both the Middle East and the United States. Before graduating from Harvard, she was awarded the Gardiner Fellowship for Mokattam, an Arabic film she directed about a garbage-collecting village near Cairo, Egypt. Jehane then joined the MTV News and Documentary Division as a segment producer for the documentary series Unfiltered. She soon left her position at MTV to produce and direct the feature documentary, StartUp.com. The critically acclaimed film won many awards including the DGA and IDA awards for best documentary.
Jehane continued to work on numerous documentaries as a cinematographer including: Born Rich, Only The Strong Survive, and Down From The Mountain, before directing her next feature in 2004. Her next film Control Room, a documentary that exposes the difference in media coverage between the Arabs and the Western world during the United States’ war with Iraq was also met with critical acclaim. It was for this film that Jehane won the coveted Ted Prize in 2006. Each Ted Prize winner is granted a wish to change the world. Jehane’s wish was to create a day in which the power of film could bring people from all over the world together to form a global community and perhaps form a new understanding of each other. This day was Pangea Day; a live videoconference featuring music, film, and speakers that took place in Cairo, New York City, Rio de Janeiro, as well as other cities around the world. Jehane has continued to work in the U.S. and in the Middle East on films as an executive producer for such films as Encounter Point and Budrus. She has also co-directed Egypt: We Are Watching You, which premiered as one of the ten films in the Why Democracy Series focusing on contemporary democracy around the globe.
Producer: Karim Amer
Executive Procuder: Mike Lerner
Executive Procuder: Geralyn Dreyfous
Editor: Jeremiah Zagar
Editor: Angie Wegdan
Mohammed El Manisterly
According to the filmmakers
"The Egyptian revolution was characterized by the instrumental use of social media, text messaging by protesters, and citizen journalists who were trying to bring about political change and democratic transformation. Our film follows characters who reveal how these types of media act as effective tools for providing a virtual space for assembly and supporting the capability of the protestors to plan, organize, and execute peaceful protests. We are incredibly grateful for the support from the Bertha fund, which in supporting our film, will help to shed light on the struggles of these activists and provide documentation which other activists across the world will be able to reference in their fight for political and social change."