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Back to the Square (2012)

A year after the euphoria on Tahrir Square, the demonstrators' goals have not even come close to being reached. The country is ruled with an iron fist and there is still no democracy. The '... See full summary »


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A year after the euphoria on Tahrir Square, the demonstrators' goals have not even come close to being reached. The country is ruled with an iron fist and there is still no democracy. The 'eye of the world' has moved elsewhere. How things have been in Egypt since 25 January 2011 is explained using five portraits of people from various walks of life. What have the sacrifices on Tahrir Square at the start of 2011 yielded? Unfortunately, not a great deal; this much is apparent from the stories of five Egyptians involved, about six months after the historic revolution. A young horse herdsman tells how he drove to the square to ask for the pyramids to be opened again; he only just managed to survive that day. A taxi driver talks about his six years in prison, the torture, and how the police now behave worse than ever. A young woman talks about intimidation and unjust arrests, which according to human rights lawyers are happening continuously. The young Salwa describes how she met her first... Written by Piraya Film

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29 January 2012 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Piso stin plateia  »

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16:9 HD
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A look into life after Tahrir
15 August 2012 | by (Qatar) – See all my reviews

"Back to the Square" is a documentary that follows five people, one year after the historical events of Tahrir Square and the fall of Hosni Mubarak. During this post-Mubarak period, thousands of protesters have been unjustifiably arrested and people are still suffering from a military state that seems to implement the a series of injustices against its citizens.

When Wally, a 15-year-old illiterate young teenager, rides his horse into Tahrir Square at the request of pro-Mubarak politicians, he doesn't know that this naïve act is about to cost him his life. The results are injuries that force his father to sell his goat to pay for his treatment and lose his horse, when the family is already struggling to live on less than $2 a day.

Mohamed, on the other hand, is an ex-convict who was released during the revolution in order to combat protesters. When he refuses to act against his own people, he is physically tortured by members of Mubarak's regime. Blogger Maikel Nabil, meanwhile, is sentenced to three years in prison for "insulting the ruling military" and "spreading false information".

Two women, Lamiz and Salwa, decided to break the silence and swim against the tide of ongoing humiliation. Lamiz is seeking the help of human rights associations to free her husband who has been arrested while she was physically harassed. Salwa wants to sue the military for ruining her reputation in front of her conservative village. The armed forces harassed her, tortured her and forced her to undergo a virginity test. It affected her family who is not welcome within the community anymore.

"Back to the Square" serves as a platform of expression for five, very interesting characters who symbolize the daily struggles of Egyptians. Director Petr Lom, who has a Ph.D in political philosophy from Harvard, dropped a promising academic career for a career in documentaries, specializing in human rights subjects. He is best known for his third film "Letters to the President" about the regime of Iranian President Ahmadinejad.

With "Back to the Square", he showcases a fresh and different perspective of the revolution's aftermath. The film's format is simple and direct, presenting each of the stories separately and relying on remarkable characters to narrate current events in Egypt.

The development of the narrative starts with the euphoric feeling of freedom at the dawn of the revolution. Each story progresses as bitter truths and fears are realized by the protesters. The documentary is also a tribute to the brave people who dared to challenge the oppressors. Along the way, they discover what they really want from their country. "Back to the Square" is a wake up call to those who think the revolution in Egypt has ended. It's only the beginning of a long and tedious battle.

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