While the rest of the world watched heady images of the Egyptian revolution on TV and online, Jehane Noujaim had to dodge bullets, tear gas and military tanks running over bodies in order to make her Oscar-nominated documentary, The Square (Al-Midan)
. The Harvard-educated Egyptian director spent three years capturing Tahrir Square (a "symbolic land," as one of her subjects calls it) as it turned into a war zone, with the millions of protesters (Muslims, Christians, revolutionaries, Islamists) at the heart of the battleground who fought for the overthrow of corrupt president Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and the eventual ouster of his successor, Mohamed Morsi, in 2013. The film features activists such as Khalid Abdalla, an Egyptian-British actor who appeared in The Kite Runner
and United 93
; Magdy Ashour, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, who was tortured under Mubarak's regime; and Ahmed Hassan, an idealistic secularist, who in the doc poignantly points out that Egypt (and the world, for that matter) doesn't need a leader but a conscience. After premiering at Sundance in 2013, the film was released on Netflix and in limited theaters in 2014 with added material thanks to the country's ongoing turmoil. Hammer Museum, Billy Wilder Theater, Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Wstwd.; Wed., May 28, 7:30 p.m.; free, tickets required. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu.
Wed., May 28, 7:30 p.m., 2014