Please note that in writing this, I’m completely ignoring whether or not I know any of the people featured in, or involved in, The Square – Not that I’m really saying anything bad, just that my focus of attention is unguided by affiliation 🙂
There’re problems with The Square – some factual; some footage from April ’11 is shown for events happening in March ’11, and a SCAF-rule torture video is shown as Mubarak-era..etc..
Also, based on feedback from @Egyptocracy on Twitter, some scenes from The Square make no sense without contextual information which isn’t provided. I hadn’t noticed this myself since I’m well aware of the context in which the events took place, and just saw what I knew. The example she provided was when Ahmed was washing his face with Coca-Cola. If you’ve been tear gassed in Egypt, you’d know that Cola drinks were being used as remedies for gas attacks, you wash your eyes in coke or pepsi, and voila, somewhat better. If you’ve never been there, what Ahmed’s doing really makes very little sense, and some people thought maybe he was doing the ritual ‘cleaning’ a Muslim does before prayer.
Also – the Jor-El thing, I have to say, didn’t do it for me. You’ll understand if you’ve seen the movie 😉
There are other things to nitpick about The Square, here and there, but overall, it’s a very important movie – that’s only somewhat flawed.
It’s important for conveying, quite successfully, at times, the chaotic giddy panicked, sad, tragic, confused, and very very urgent nature of the times unfolding, and it’s important for the stories, but most certainly doesn’t have enough of them, it can’t.
The MB member shown in The Square, Magdy, who I remember well from days in #Tahrir, had the most interesting, but disturbing character-arc; In The Square, Magdy (MB) is disillusioned with the MB, disobeys by joining action with revolutionaries, but remains ‘loyal’ to the MB. In one scene, Magdy berates his son for fighting the revolutionaries in Iti7adeya, and yet, towards the end, he does join Rabaa.
The killer is one telling scene, in which Magdy’s own mother dismisses a conversation about his loyalties by saying (quite brutally) that he has no job, makes no money, has children, and that he is, for all intents, financially dependent on the MB. It’s a rock.
It’s a particularly powerful moment for me because it reminded me of a conversation I once had with a Lewa (general?) during a demonstration in 2001, in which, finally, after I had hammered with with one “why?” too many, he exclaimed ‘alashan el mam’ – loosely translated; to eat.
It’s like I’m stuck between that General from 2001, and the MB in 2013.
Anyway, see The Square for yourself, as I said, it’s an important movie (unless you’ve lived through events, in which case it’s nostalgia) 🙂