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.