Amid the flood of documentaries about the Arab Spring in general and the Egyptian Revolution in particular, “Uprising” takes a clear, cohesive approach to the spontaneous events at its center. Lacking the dynamic immediacy of “Tahrir: Liberation Square” or the scope of the multipart “Tahrir 2011,” Fredrik Stanton’s film — with its eyewitness testimony, well-edited cell-phone footage, euphoric young leaders, cautious elder statesmen, and awestruck journalists and foreign onlookers — often feels more like extended television reportage than feature documentary engagement. Still, the pic should receive a warm welcome in educational and smallscreen venues following its Jan. 11 limited release.Stanton eschews in-depth analysis and historical overview for breathless reiteration of astonished admiration from participants and observers alike, extolling the nonviolent mutation of street protest into all-out revolution; the solidarity among people of different ages, classes and religions; and the bravery of those willing to sacrifice their lives for freedom. And although the interviewees are aware of the absurdity of the fact that a Facebook-launched revolution should be countered with camel-riding, sword-wielding defenders of the status quo, the docu’s relatively uninflected tone rarely participates in either the excitement or irony it chronicles.
A Rebellion Films production. Produced by Alexander Davidis, Samer Ezeldin, Fredrik Stanton. Executive producers, Fredrik Stanton, Alexander Davidis, Don Glascoff. Directed, written by Fredrik Stanton.
Camera (color, HD, DV), Samer Ezeldin; editor, William James Hamilton; music, Robert Babicz, Beatsuite, Khaled Dajani, Transterra Media. Reviewed on DVD, New York, Jan. 4, 2013. Running time: 85 MIN.
Hani Shukrallah, Asmaa Mahfouz, Ahmed Maher, Gigi Ibrahim, Amr Waked, Heba Morayef, Frank Wisner, Abdallah Helmy.