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Winter of Discontent [DVD]
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Winter of Discontent (El sheita elli fat) is set against the momentous backdrop of the whirlwind protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square, beginning on January 25th, 2011. Activist Amr, journalist Farah, and State Security officer Adel experience a shifting reality in the days and nights leading up to the resignation of President Mubarak. As the stories of these characters unfold, they are propelled headlong into the heady, often surreal atmosphere of terror, uncertainty, and mass euphoria that surrounded those days that shaped history.
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We have a parallel story of a newsreader who has been actively spinning the real events to prevent the truth from getting to the people - this is done in the name of not spreading alarm. We have the demonstrations in Tahrir Square, the networks being taken down to prevent social media being used by the demonstrators to organise and the people using the BBC to find the truth.
This also features scenes of torture and uses real footage in places as well as some reconstructed scenes to tell the tale. This is a very moving film and seems to be full of symbolism, like Amir's' flat looks out onto a brick wall as if he is being blocked from the rest of the world. This is a testament to the 2,286 people that were killed, the 9,000 plus injured and the 12,000 that were imprisoned in the struggle to get rid of Mubarak, the film also features all three of his final speeches, which are surprisingly powerful.
I found this to be informative and well made and this was despite obvious funding limitations. It was not an easy watch per se but then it never should be owing to the subject content. The violence is the real sort and not one for gore fans, some of the scenes are very moving and it works best when these are simple and understated. I can not remember any soundtrack either. In Arabic with good sub titles and a run time of 96 minutes; it is easy to see why this is Egypt's nomination for the 2014 Oscars.