English and Arabic with English subtitles, 2014, 90 minutes, color, U.S.A./United Kingdom, Doc Premieres
Since late 2010, more than a dozen nations have experienced popular uprisings that have collectively been called the Arab Spring. Protests, buoyed by predominantly young participants and social-media organizing, have exposed repression and led to regime changes. What does it mean to take part in a collective action that has the potential to unseat dictators and bring previously undreamt-of freedoms to a people?
Director Greg Barker (MANHUNT screened at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival) explores this question through a series of insightful activist portraits: Osama describes how his 21-year-old, Virginia-raised son, Muhannad, fought against Gaddafi's forces in Benghazi. Ghassan and Motaz remain committed to peaceful resistance even as Syria descends into ever-more-hopeless violence. Sisters Maryam and Zainab become pivotal opposition figures while their father suffers in a Bahrain prison. These stories, underscored by echoes from past resistance leaders—ranging from Mahatma Gandhi to Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela to Aung San Suu Kyi—illustrate what drives revolutionaries and reveal the sacrifices they must make to pursue their causes. - B.T.
About the Director
Greg Barker, described by the New York Times as “a filmmaker of artistic and political consequence,” is a former war-correspondent-turned-filmmaker who has worked in more than 50 countries across six continents. His previous films include Ghosts of Rwanda (2004); Sergio, which won the Documentary Editing Award at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival; Koran by Heart (2011); and MANHUNT, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last year and went on to win a Primetime Emmy Award.
Cast and Credits
Director: Greg Barker
Producers: John Battsek, Julie Goldman, Greg Barker
Co, Producer: Razan Ghalayini
Line Producer: Diane Becker
Cinematographers: Muhammad Hamdy, Frank-Peter Lehmann
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