After Tahir Film Festival

The After Tahir film festival was, I thought, a good glimpse inside a country undergoing a revolution. The film that had the heaviest impact on me was the longer video in the middle, the one where the military trucks were shown running over civilians. Previous films that day had shown the revolutionaries throwing rocks and having rocks or flaming objects thrown at them but really didn’t convey any sense of danger. Seeing the army fighting and sometimes mowing down, running over, or even shooting the protesters showed the true urgency and danger of the situation in a better way. After seeing the first videos I wasn’t overly impressed with the Egyptian citizens. Their assembly was something to be proud of but it didn’t look like they had suffered the resistance one would expect. Seeing them continue to stay out on the streets even while fighting for their lives was nothing short of heroic.

I also enjoyed the discussions with Gandhi’s grandson. Although Gandhi wasn’t really active in Egypt his ideals of freedom, religious coexistence, and peaceful civil disobedience clearly informed some of the ideals of the Egyptian revolution. It was interesting to have a relative discuss a man who truly changed the world but isn’t known or discussed at length in the United States.

After Tahir Film Festival

2 thoughts on “After Tahir Film Festival

  1. janakornely says:

    I am not surprised by the fact that so many people in this class found the Maspero video to be the one that had the most impact on them. I was really moved by the short film as well. Images are really powerful, but I think that fact should be seen with mixed feelings. While images can be used to raise awareness for important issues and show the atrocities happening throughout the world, the absence of images often means an absence of interest. A lot of atrocities happening around the world might be ignored by large parts of society just because we do not have any images of it. Why do we often not care about things until we can actually see them? Why does reading about the abuse of hundreds of people not have as much of an impact on us as seeing a handful of dead or hurt bodies? Pictures effect people’s emotions in a big way and they are also seen as an undeniable proof of truth. It is easier to mistrust a journalist’s written word than to mistrust a photograph (probably even with the widespread use of Photoshop and other editing software). This can cause problems when images are presented to create a certain emotion within a wholly different context and thereby misguide people. One example for that is an article that I recently read about in the German press. Russian journalists reported about how Germany apparently tried to blanket the alleged rape of a 13-year old Russian-German girl by migrants in Berlin. As the article stated the video report featured footage of women being raped on Tahrir Square. I suppose that those images were meant to portray the apparent unlawful and unmoral behavior of Arab migrants. That is a manipulation of viewers that I consider as truly worrisome.

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  2. Brandon Kado says:

    I agree that the films and images are key to providing insight into the country undergoing revolution. I found myself wondering how much of the films derive from the direct aftermath of Tahrir; that is, how much do the films represent Egypt and Cairo today in 2016 rather than 2011 and 2012? For instance, Hamilton’s Maspero piece is from 2012, which is four years outdated by now. I was hoping to get more of a glimpse of Egypt 2015 and 2016 from the festival but that was not the case.

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