English and Arabic with English subtitles, 2014, 90 minutes, color, U.S.A./United Kingdom
Since late 2010, more than a dozen nations have experienced popular uprisings that have collectively been called the Arab Spring. Protests, buoyed by predominantly young participants and social-media organizing, have exposed repression and led to regime changes. What does it mean to take part in a collective action that has the potential to unseat dictators and bring previously undreamt-of freedoms to a people?
Director Greg Barker (MANHUNT screened at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival) explores this question through a series of insightful activist portraits: Osama describes how his 21-year-old, Virginia-raised son, Muhannad, fought against Gaddafi's forces in Benghazi. Ghassan and Motaz remain committed to peaceful resistance even as Syria descends into ever-more-hopeless violence. Sisters Maryam and Zainab become pivotal opposition figures while their father suffers in a Bahrain prison. These stories, underscored by echoes from past resistance leaders—ranging from Mahatma Gandhi to Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela to Aung San Suu Kyi—illustrate what drives revolutionaries and reveal the sacrifices they must make to pursue their causes.
Director: Greg Barker
Producers: John Battsek, Julie Goldman, Greg Barker
Co-producer: Razan Ghalayini
Line Producer: Diane Becker
Cinematographers: Muhammad Hamdy, Frank-Peter Lehmann
Editor: Joshua Altman
Composer: Philip Sheppard