'Uprising' Review

Last Updated: 10:52 AM, January 11, 2013
Posted: 10:26 January 10, 2013

UPRISING In English and Arabic, with English subtitles. Running time: 84 minutes. Not rated (violence). At the Quad, 34 W. 13th St.

Fredrik Stanton’s film is video footage compiled of the tumult, often shot by the very people taking part in the protests. And there are many interviews with Egyptians, most particularly the young people who poured into the streets of Cairo to protest decades of repression and corruption under the Mubarak regime. There’s nothing technically daring about the film; there doesn’t have to be. The daring comes from people like the former Muslim Brotherhood youth leader who, after taking a rubber bullet point-blank in the head, was treated by a Christian doctor and immediately returned to the demonstration.

The film goes only to Mubarak’s abrupt exit, and confines the ongoing struggle over democracy in Egypt to a final title card. Still, it is a stirring piece of work. For years, American newscasts and films have shown the “Arab street” in a profoundly negative light, as bloodthirsty, reactionary hordes. When “Uprising” shows masses of Arabs marching for freedom, and using Muslim prayer as a form of peaceful protest, that in itself is a bit revolutionary.