Tahrir - Place de la Libération
France, Italy, Egypt, 91 min
Cairo, 31 January 2011. Elsayed, Noha and Ahmed are three young Egyptians; for five days they have been occupying Tahrir Square, night and day. With thousands of other Egyptians, they shout, sing, slam and chant things they have not been able to say out loud before. Tahrir - Place de la libération is first and foremost a film of protest. Shooting on his own with a separate sound recorder (of the simplest kind, to avoid detection), Stefano Savona has put the emphasis on the spoken word, thrusting his microphone into the heart of the throng. As well as inventing slogans, the occupants of Tahrir Square have learned to obtain provisions and share what they have, throw stones, care for the injured, challenge the army, hang on to hard-won territory – an area of freedom where they get high on words in order to stand firm. It is this collective power, reinvented day by day, that emerges from this film: the making of a leaderless revolution, in which tragedy and celebration are bound up together, as long as the word endures. “Direct cinema is the image of the word”, as Pierre Perrault used to say. Another miracle.
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