My impressions of the After Tahrir Short Film Festival from Sunday are certainly mixed. I’m not sure that ‘film festival’ would be the correct term for the program; instead it felt more like a mixed visual media festival. The festival featured projects that I could not comprehend because of the sanskrit writing and amateur filmmaking.
The most effective projects were Vj_Um_Amel’s glitch art pieces, Linda Herrera’s dry but informative documentary pieces, and Omar Robert Hamilton’s short films. I want to refrain from critiquing the glitch art because I have little to no experience with the art form, but without a pre-existing knowledge of sanskrit and the figureheads in the piece, I could not comprehend what the pieces were trying to achieve. Linda Herrera’s documentaries were informative and I could understand the bits of Egyptian history and political turmoil being discussed by the two intellectuals, but the poor editing and camera work drastically undercut the film’s content.
Omar Robert Hamilton’s films were the most engaging and informative by far; his piece on Maspero contains the most shocking imagery I’ve ever seen. The first person accounts combined with actual footage of the military running over civilians was gut-wrenching. Hamilton’s Maspero piece defined what we mean when we talk about military and police brutality; that imagery depicts the severe and utterly devastating nature of the Egyptian military’s treatment of Egyptian citizens.
After the festival, I find myself more curious about the militarization of Egypt and rallying for Egyptian revolution because I have seen how they’ve struggled beyond the generic “upper class oppressing the lower class” types of arguments. I am also anxious to learn more about glitch art because I really don’t understand most of what I saw at the festival.