Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer
Distributed by Netflix, “The Square” is one of two documentaries that got the most exposure this Oscars season, thanks to billboards and constant advertisement from the growing instant streaming company. Second to only “The Act Of Killing”, which was a huge draw this awards season, the film is available on Netflix instantly (as were three of the other contenders) which made this year’s documentary viewings much easier. “The Square” made me realize I am completely out of touch with the news, delving in to the situation that has transpired since 2011 and continues on to this day, in which Egyptians are fighting their government for their freedom. Originally lead by a dictator, peaceful sit-ins in a square gained the citizens enough publicity and power to get the dictator out of power, but eventually the military forces took over and produced zero of the changes that it promised. With the peace being broken with propaganda and violent outbreaks of military and civilian thugs, the idea of an election was proposed, but offered two evils as the choices, one a member of the groups that had been reigning over the citizens already and one a religious society called the Brotherhood that sold the activists out when they reached a deal with the military. Winning the election, the Brotherhood became even worse than the previous dictator, completely changing the constitution so that there were no longer checks and balances. “The Square” follows several different activists working in the same coalition as they try to extract change from their countries leaders to no avail. But these characters are all interesting and keep one interested. The causalities and the fact that this documentary ends to no resolve is devastating. In this day and age, it’s baffling that certain countries still do not have freedoms that we take for granted. For that, this became one of my favorite documentaries of the season, but with “The Act Of Killing” proving to be such a unique documentary and with “20 Feet From Stardom” remaining the frontrunner at the moment, there’s not much chance for “The Square” to breakthrough, but if their was a documentary other than those two that could sneak in, it would be this one. This is a first nomination for bother Karim Amer and director Jehane Noujaim.
// Produced by Karim Amer // Directed by Jehane Noujaim //
// Dated Viewed: Sunday, February 23rd, 2014 // Netflix Streaming // 5 films – 8 days //