Back to the Square
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Back to the Square

The kids of Egypt's revolution aren't yet alright.

For many Egyptians, jubilation at Mubarak's departure proved short-lived.

DIRECTED BY PETR LOM (Norway, Canada, Rise Against)


Friday, April 27, 6:15 p.m.
Isbael Bader Theatre (93 Charles Street West)

Sunday, April 29, 2:00 p.m.
TIFF Bell Lightbox 1 (350 King Street West)

Friday, May 4, 1:30 p.m.
Isbael Bader Theatre (93 Charles Street West)

International media largely turned its attentions away from Egypt following the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak in February of last year, as though the then-jubilant citizenry would continue to live happily ever after. In Back to the Square, documentarian Petr Lom highlights that the revolution has failed to alleviate the grievances of many of ordinary Egyptians. Indeed, several of Lom’s subjects suggest that police corruption and official repression have only intensified since Mubarak’s departure.

The individuals on whom Lom focuses hail from varying backgrounds, but their shared subjection to gross abuses of state power forms Back to the Square‘s sobering through-line. In distinct segments, presented in an unvarnished, direct style, Lom introduces audiences to five Egyptians with troubling stories to tell. They include a minibus driver left scarred by police torture, the brother of a blogger imprisoned for insulting the military regime, and a young protester whom authorities denounced as a prostitute and forced to undergo a virginity test.

Lom is strictly concerned with these personal accounts, and Back to the Square doesn’t address the broader political factors that have permitted official malfeasance to flourish post-Mubarak. It does make abundantly clear, however, that though media interest has dwindled, the spirit that animated 2011’s revolution lives on in 2012’s day-to-day struggles.

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