Meet the Sundance-Supported Oscar Noms: The Square
“It was a war in the Square. It was not a revolution,” says one of the young revolutionary subjects in Jehane Noujaim’s disruptive documentary The Square. Set almost exclusively in the volatile epicenter of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, the film viscerally acquaints audiences with Egyptian dissenters’ struggle for democracy. The Square is quintessentially 21st century in its making as it conflates jarring footage captured by each of the young subjects in the film. Further, it’s a testament to the power of social media in a digital age where everyone has a voice.
Tahrir Square plays home base—or, more aptly, the frontlines—for the uprising, where Egyptian citizens and the army clash amid violent protests and raucous celebrations. The Square is ambitious in straddling the happenings of the revolution, commencing with the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak and extending through the inauguration of Islamist Mohamed Morsi. Noujaim’s effort serves as a welcome template for the possibilities of modern documentary filmmaking: immersive, invigorating ,and inclusive.
- The Square won the Audience Award for World Documentary at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival
- Nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 86th Academy Awards
- Received a 2012 Sundance Institute Documentary Film Grant
- Jehane Noujaim is the lone female director nominated in the Best Documentary category
- Noujaim is originally from Cairo, Egypt
- Her prior films include Control Room and Solar Mamas