The new documentary The Square — set in Cairo's Tahrir Square — is a gripping, visceral portrait of the 2011 Egyptian revolution and its tumultuous aftermath.
The film puts the audience directly in the middle of the protests, and follows the lives of several young revolutionaries over the two and half years since. It charts their journey from the early euphoria of victory to the depths of despair as those victories unravel amid violent clashes and profound political confrontations among the secular revolutionaries, the Muslim Brotherhood and the military.
Before seeing Paul Greengrass' nerve-wracking, based-on-fact thriller Captain Phillips, I'd never been able to get my head around the logistics of Somali piracy. Enormous commercial freighters, captured and held for ransom by tiny bands of pirates — often teenagers — who always seem to overtake the freighters on the high seas in fishing skiffs smaller than the freighters' lifeboats.
I mean, you wonder: How on earth could four or five teenagers capture a freighter, subduing a far larger crew and extracting millions of dollars in ransom?