Noujaim’s documentary begins in 2011 and follows a group of young people nonviolently protesting in Tahrir Square, advocating for political change to the Mubarek regime. We see the young protesters ride their initial euphoria and victory of toppling the Mubarek regime through peaceful protest, which then turns into a painful birthing of a nation as the vacuum left by Mubarek’s departure devolves into a battle for power.
The film focuses on several protesters from 2011 to the fall of 2013, with the most compelling protester being Ahmed, who we see develop from a energetic, peaceful advocate for social change into a scared but brave protester in the wake of violent clashes, to finally, a committed and tireless crusader for political change.
The Square is the first Egyptian film to be nominated for an Oscar, but is not allowed to be officially shown in Egypt. However, this great documentary film that unfolds like a modern day Les Miserables, is now available for viewing on Netflix.