Film Festival

I have mixed feelings about the film festival on Sunday. When I arrived, I was excited to see the good turnout and what these Egyptian youth have created to commemorate the 5 year anniversary in Egypt’s revolution. When the screening began, the first few clips were very interesting as it followed a camera on the ground during the protests in Tahrir square and I almost felt the emotions and the sort of chaos with people trying to gather together and at the same time the pressure with the military and police officers around. One clip I thought was well done was the Omar Robert Hamilton as he made comments in the clips and helped the viewers understand what was happening at what time. It sort of put a timeline and situation in all the b-roll footage on the ground. For me, the piece that stuck with me was the speaktotweet clips where different Egyptians spoke via audio messages and recited poems when the government shut down the internet. I really enjoyed the poem recited by the woman who was addressing it directly to Hosni Mubarak and underlying the idea that his name “mubarak” which means a combination of blessed and celebration and how he defied his people and country and his name to the horrible atrocities he committed. Another one that was well done was the hadith recited about the gecko and how Mubarak was the gecko that repeatedly attacked Egypt.

For me the other clips did little to send a message or capture the spirit of the revolution and the sort of sacrifices Egyptians made during the time and even after. I felt that the Linda Herrera documentary comparing the Egyptian revolution to the independence of India during Gandhi’s time was completely misrepresented and out of place for the whole festival. Not only are there few similarities between India’s problems and Egypt but it was poorly demonstrated and most the clips kept highlighting India more than Egypt.

Overall, I think that some of the clips I mentioned above really helped me identify and understand the emotional standpoint of the revolution on the people of Egypt. I think that some of the speakers did a very good job at describing such as Hamilton and allowed the audience to be engaged in what he was talking about.

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Film Festival

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