The movie starts with a note: “In 2011, the people of Egypt revolted against years of endured oppression and inequality. The following takes place during the first few days of the January 25th Revolution, is inspired by the true stories of a few amongst these millions, including both the director and writer of this film and is dedicated to the countless others trying to live an ordinary life amidst extraordinary circumstances.”
For those who don’t know, a revolution began on 25 January 2011 in Egypt, and the date was selected specifically by the various youth groups as it was also the annual Egyptian Police holiday. During the last few years of Hosni Mubarak’s presidency, police brutality increased. People came to the streets for marches, demonstrations, strikes, and non-violent civil resistance. The protestors demanded the overthrow of President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak. The demands of the protestors were focused on police brutality, freedom of speech, political freedom, corruption, low wages, and unemployment among other things. Cairo, the capital of Egypt, was the war zone.
The film shows seven women trapped in various places, and the movie has been divided into three parts. The movie has been broken so that different scenarios can be shown, and it can be made clear to the audience what the people of Egypt experienced.
The first part shows a woman escaping from the police and ends up getting inside a shop. There she demands a phone call from the shopkeeper. As she had no money, she asks him if she could stay till everything gets normal outside. The shopkeeper helped her and also hid her for the night. The police came in searching his shop, but somehow he was able to deviate from the topic and keep the woman safe.
The next scenario is about a mother who had to go outside to get food and allowance for the monthly rent. She left her daughter Farah alone in the house and locked it from the outside. The lady didn’t come back till the next day. Farah was strictly instructed by her mother not to open the door even if someone knocked. Another woman was hiding from the police and accidentally got locked in the same building. She asks for help from this little girl, and slowly with time, these two develop a lovely bond. This part is lovely and great to watch.
The third and final scene is about two women, who were involved in the protest. They were captured by the police, who later left them in a hammam. The owner of the place doesn’t allow them to leave. What follows is that they also end up discussing various things and bond by the end of the film.
The people shown in the film could not contact their loved ones as communication and internet services were stopped. People are protesting on the streets and demanding social and political reforms. They demand to overthrow the regime. Slogans such as Bread-Freedom-Justice can be heard. On the other hand, Police are oppressing their protests and even searching for the protestors in abandoned buildings.
In my opinion, it is a must-watch to know what the people of Egypt from different socioeconomic backgrounds had to go through really. The creators shot the whole film in three parts. The first two were great, but somehow the last part was not very clear. The film lacks in the department of editing and acting. The transition between these parts was also not very swift. The objectives of showing these incidents could not be properly fulfilled, and the stories seem disconnected. But such types of stories need to be brought up to immortalize the hard times that a country had gone through.
Final Score – [7/10]
Reviewed by - Riya Singh
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