Review: ‘Uprising’

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.

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.

Uprising

Production

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.

Crew

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.

With

Hani Shukrallah, Asmaa Mahfouz, Ahmed Maher, Gigi Ibrahim, Amr Waked, Heba Morayef, Frank Wisner, Abdallah Helmy.

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