Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer Q&A: ‘The Square’
The revolution will be webcast.
That's what director Jehane Noujaim and producer Karim Amer are counting on, having risked life and limb to document the Egyptian revolution in the Oscar-nominated documentary "The Square." "If you had asked me a few years ago whether I would be running from police, or army, or tear gas, or imprisoned, I would have said, 'No way, you're nuts,'" said Noujaim.
Added Amer, "It's very hard to make a film when the director keeps getting arrested."
"The Square" follows a group of revolutionaries who since January 2011 have organized in Cairo's Tahrir Square to protest the nation's oppressive regime. Those men and women are still in harm's way as violence has escalated in recent months, which is why Noujaim believes bringing attention to this film and its subjects is so urgently important: "What [revolutionary Ahmed Hassan] said when he first heard about [the film's Oscar nomination] was, 'It means our story will never be able to be silenced.'"
Now their story has spread. The revolution, fueled in part by social media, is now available on Netflix, which acquired "The Square" and began streaming the documentary on January 17, further expanding its potential reach and influence. "What's exciting about releasing a film online," according to Noujaim, "is that the conversation can continue online."
"This film stared death in the eyes," said Amer. And now the world can see.