Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Extra Credit: The Square Review- Justin Cygnor

The documentary, The Square, tells the story of the ongoing struggle of the Egyptian Revolution through the eyes of six very different protesters. Starting in the tents of Tahrir in the days leading up to the fall of Mubarak, we follow our characters on a life changing journey through the euphoria of victory into the uncertainties and dangers of the current 'transitional period' under military rule, where everything they fought for is now under threat or in balance. This is a very important documentary. Not only is it a historical record from the people's perspective of the revolution in Tehrir Square, it's a message to the world about the power of the people and human consciousness awakening in the face of oppression. This should be a must see for young people all over the world.
While analyzing the documentary, I found a very few weaknesses  but a lot of strengths. I enjoyed the way the film was put together. The footage of the rebellion created the feeling for the viewer that he/she was actually there. It was also interesting to see that the film makers were able to film all sides--the military officials, the brotherhood, and the fighters for democracy. I also found it appealing that throughout the documentary, slides came up showing the date and time as well as what was happening. It introduced the viewer to what events would be seen going on and kept things in order. The only weakness I found in this isn't really a weakness, but more of an opinion. I feel as if the documentary was too long and the information and message 
could have be displayed in a shorter amount of time. It seemed to me as if the film makers wanted to reach a certain time goal.
Egypt remains locked in a protracted process of political transition after the resignation of the long-serving leader Hosni Mubarak in February 2011. The country is deeply divided between Islamist and secular groups, while the Egyptian military remains the country's chief political broker and decision-maker. 
The role of social media is critical because it helps to spread cognitive dissonance by connecting thought leaders and activists to ordinary citizens rapidly expanding the network of people who become willing to take action. Also, as seen in the documentary, social media helped reveal the truth behind the government and the conflicts in Egypt. Originally, the news showed slander to hide the truth. Youtube helped reveal the truth. 
Social media also played a central role in shaping political debates in the Arab Spring. A spike in online revolutionary conversations often preceded major events on the ground. Social media helped spread democratic ideas across international borders.

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