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Arab Spring lifts World Cinema Day

Filmmakers put focus on revolution

Revolution was the focus of World Cinema Fund Day at the Berlinale on Wednesday as filmmakers from the Arab region shared their experiences from the Arab Spring.

The panel included Egyptian filmmaker Hala Galal; Hania Mroue, Lebanese producer and director of the Al Ayam Beirut al Cinema’iya Festival; Tunisian filmmaker Nadia El Fani and Egyptian journalist and activist Nora Younis.

Galal said that reporting about the uprising carried great risk but without the great amount of footage shot by filmmakers, much of it on simple cellphones, more people would have been killed.

Like many filmmakers, Galal said she had a story about the events, but added that she wasn’t sure if she dared to shoot it. “It hurts a lot when you have all these memories. I’m not sure that I want to keep them so I’m not sure if I want to make a film now about it. It was more than terrible.”

Echoing Galal’s views, Younis said the recent political gains of the conservative Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt were being checked by increased political activity by average citizens, including veiled Muslim women, who were beginning to express greater resistance and creating greater political balance in the country.

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