Do watch the handsome Ahmed Hassan in “The Square”.

It’s very sad that the only Egyptian film ever to win an Oscar nomination can’t be watched at any cinema inside Egypt.  The Square is a fascinating newly released documentary looking at the events of two years of Egypt’s uprisings as seen through several young activists based in and around Tahrir Square. Of course it does simplify complex issues and of course it misses important events too, but despite all that it’s unmissable in my view. An emotive and evocative film, at times inspirational and at others depressing.

It’s easy to criticize any attempt to condense over two years of the most momentous events in Egypt’s history into just 100 minutes but the result was far better than I expected.  I’m not sure whether this Youtube copy is done with or without permission but if for any reason it’s taken off line  you can also watch it free on Netflix with a month’s trial subscription.

Oh, and regarding Ahmed Hassan – the mention of his name on this site is not intended to suggest anything about his sexuality.  I’ve really no idea nor do I care.    He captivates even more by his eloquent and powerful words than he does by his looks.   Two relatively unimportant things you might never learn from the film however are that he can speak English reasonably and he doesn’t always dress smart casual as you can see from this not so flattering photograph of him I discovered on Flickr.

Demonstrators in Cairo hold up used tear gas shells. Credit:Cam McGrath/IPS.


About Alisdare Hickson

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