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The Square

The Square, a new film by Jehane Noujaim (Control Room; Rafea: Solar Mama), looks at the hard realities faced day-to-day by people working to build Egypt’s new democracy. Catapulting us into the action spread across 2011 and 2012, the film provides a kaleidoscopic, visceral experience of the struggle. Cairo’s Tahrir Square is the heart and soul of the film, which follows several young activists. Armed with values, determination, music, humor, an abundance of social media, and sheer obstinacy, they know that the thorny path to democracy only began with Hosni Mubarek’s fall. The life-and-death struggle between the people and the power of the state is still playing out.
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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

100

The New York Times by A.O. Scott

Even though The Square depicts widely covered recent events, it still feels like a revelation. This is partly because of the immediacy of Ms. Noujaim’s approach, which often puts the viewer in the midst of chaos as it unfolds.
80

Time Out by David Fear

The Square offers more than just pictures of a revolution; it lets you into the mind-set of those fighting for their future, and that makes all the difference.
75

NPR by Mark Jenkins

The director recut the movie several times as events overtook it. She may yet do so again — although if more major changes occur, they could merit beginning another documentary. As The Square makes clear, Noujaim would not hesitate to rush back into the fray.
75

The A.V. Club by Mike D'Angelo

There’s a sense in which The Square feels incomplete, like the first part of a much longer effort. It’s hard to blame Noujaim for presenting it to the public now, but the decision to do so is primarily political, not artistic.
75

Slant Magazine by Nick Schager

A blistering portrait of rebellion against social discord, marginalization and oppression, and a call to arms for true democratic ideals of dignity, justice, and fairness.
70

The Dissolve by Tasha Robinson

It catches, in the most authentic and democratic way possible, a collection of people who’ve developed a strong taste for revolution, but are still trying to figure out what to do with it.

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