“In Tahrir Square: 18 Days of Egypt’s Unfinished Revolution” debuts January 25, 2012, exclusively on HBO. The film airs one year to the day after the beginning of the protest that chaged the Arab world.
HBO 2012 schedule of documentaries starts with Paradise Lost
They took over a city square and in 18 days brought down a regime that had ruled for 30 years. Emmy®-winning documentary filmmakers Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill were on the scene in Cairo, capturing the sights, sounds and passion of a modern-day revolution, according to a press release from HBO.
“In Tahrir Square” gives viewers a first hand look at the streets of Cairo as what began as a small, peaceful demonstration quickly grew into a revolutionary movement that would force the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak.
The exclusive HBO2 documentary debuts Wednesday, January 25 (8:00-8:45 p.m. ET/PT). The film will also air on HBO2 on January 29 (11:45 a.m., 5:15 a.m.).
On January 25, 2011, thousands of Egyptians from all walks of life and every social class began gathering in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Bolstered by similar protests in other Arab countries and mobilized in part by social media, they were there to demand the end to President Hosni Mubarak’s three-decade rule.
Film directors Alpert and O’Neill immerse the viewer in the world of the protestors, from the peaceful first days of the uprising through the deadly battles between pro-Mubarak forces and anti-Mubarak demonstrators. Violence on streets of Egypt – pictures
Young Egyptian-American journalist Sharif Abdel Kouddous, who is in the center of the protest, leads cameras into Tahrir and provides insightful accounts of those tense days. Part of a family of prominent Egyptian journalists – his grandfather was a famous writer and his uncle, also a journalist, is a longtime Mubarak foe and prominent member of the Muslim Brotherhood – Kouddous attended Duke University and is currently a correspondent and producer for the American radio and TV show “Democracy Now!” His tweets and live reporting from Tahrir Square attracted international attention.
Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians ultimately participated in the protests at Tahrir Square, and nearly 850 were killed. On February 11, 2011, the 18th day, more than a million Egyptians joined the revolution in the square and witnessed the surprise announcement by Egypt’s vice president that Mubarak would step down. Mubarek steps down – pictures from Cairo
At that historic moment of Egyptian pride, the crowd rejoiced, chanting in unison, “Lift your head up, you’re Egyptian,” and “God is great!” On the phone to an American news broadcast, an emotional Kouddous reported, “Everyone is proud to be Egyptian today. Everyone who fights for democracy and fights for freedom is Egyptian today, and stands with us.”
Egyptian protestors celebrate – pictures from Cairo
IN TAHRIR SQUARE: 18 DAYS OF EGYPT’S UNFINISHED REVOLUTION was produced and directed by the team of Jon Alpert (15 national Emmys®) and Matthew O’Neill (three national Emmys®), whose previous HBO projects include the Emmy®-winning “Baghdad ER” (2006); the Emmy®-nominated “Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq” (2007) and “Section 60: Arlington National Cemetery” (2008); the Academy Award®-nominated “China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province” (2009); and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award-winning “Wartorn: 1861-2010” (2010).
Alpert and O’Neill work at Manhattan’s Downtown Community Television Center (DCTV), a community media center founded by Alpert and his wife, Keiko Tsuno, in 1972.
Producer Jacqueline Soohen is an award-winning filmmaker with more than ten years of experience making social documentaries that emphasize global justice. Her films include “Fallujah” (2005) and “Shocking and Awful” (2005), which were featured in the 2006 Whitney Biennial.
IN TAHRIR SQUARE: 18 DAYS OF EGYPT’S UNFINISHED REVOLUTION was directed by Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill; produced by Jon Alpert, Matthew O’Neill and Jacqueline Soohen; edited by Patrick McMahon, A.C.E.; original music by Nicholas Pike. For HBO: supervising producer, Jacqueline Glover; executive producer, Sheila Nevin