First up this week is Jehane Noujaim’s The Square, a new film made from within the Egyptian Revolution. We discuss its production, which included a trip back to Cairo just this summer to capture more footage, months after a “World Premiere” at Sundance 2013. Despite the magnitude of the events it covers, the film is actually quite personal and even novelistic in the way it follows the lives of individual activists in and around Tahrir Square. We discuss how this narrative style functions, and compare it to previous revolutionary works like The Battle of Algiers and The Battle of Chile.
Then we turn to another documentary that recorded history as it was happening. Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment, Robert Drew’s direct cinema film about the showdown over the desegregation of the University of Alabama, celebrated its 50th anniversary on Monday. We talk about the way Drew and his collaborators collected this extraordinary footage of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and George Wallace, and how they crafted it into such a landmark work of journalism.
Finally, Chris tells us a bit about another new political documentary which opens in Iowa this week, A.J. Schrank’s Caucus.
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Daniel’s review of The Square
Chris’s interview with Jehane Noujaim and producer Karim Amer
Where to see The Square
Rent or buy Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment on iTunes
Where to see Caucus