The Square

Directed by Jehane Noujaim | Egypt/USA | 2013 | 104 min.

Saturday, March 22 | 4:30pm | McConomy Auditorium, CMU's University Center
5000 Forbes Avenue

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Event Includes: Panel discussion with Mohammed Bamyeh, Professor of Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh, and Amani Attia, Professor of Arabic at the University of Pittsburgh. Moderated by Roger Rouse, Global Studies professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Plus a reception featuring an assortment of hummus, cheeses, bread, and pastries will be generously provided by Allegro Hearth Bakery
Presented in Conjunction with: Global Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh

"No news report could render the hope and the desperation of the people who risked their lives in Tahrir Square so fully, or so thrillingly." —Bloomberg

It's January of 2011, and the lights have gone out in Tahrir Square. We find ourselves at the beginning of a new era. Thousands of citizens camp out in tents, sacrificing the comforts of electricity and running water, utilizing their bodies as vehicles of protest. From Control Room director, Jehane Noujaim, this Oscar-nominated film contributes profound optimism, relatable human faces and a coherent narrative to a complex story. It is above all the sophisticated incorporation of the audience that creates such a gripping viewing experience, as hand-held camera footage intimately immerses us into the site of conflict. For Noujaim, an activist herself, such stark realism was no easy matter—after replacing her confiscated equipment with a smaller camera, she was arrested and even bitten over the course of shooting. These hindrances were well worth the trouble, as The Square provides an informative and nuanced view of Egypt's Revolution. Crucially, we are reminded of film's political function in shaping conscience and executing change; after all, it was largely through video clips that freedom advocates were able to spread awareness on a global scale. This crusade for civil liberty, however, is far from being over.

Awards


- Nominated for the 2013 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature
- Winner of the Audience Award for World Cinema Documentary at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival
- Winner of the People's Choice Award for Best Documentary at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival
- Winner of the Best Feature Award at the 2013 International Documentary Association
- Winner of the Victor Rabinowitz and Joanna Grant Award for Social Justice at the 2013 Hamptons International Film Festival

Director


Jehane Noujaim
Jehane Noujaim is an Egyptian American filmmaker who specializes in documentaries with political themes. She has a degree in Visual Arts and Philosophy from Harvard University and has worked for years in the film and television industries. In 2008, she won the TED Prize for organizing Pangea Day, an internationally-broadcasted media event. Noujain is the director of Startup.com (2001) and Control Room (2004).

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