What was your inspiration?
In the first days of the revolution I was volunteering with the “media tent” [in Tahrir Square] to collect footage from anyone who had managed to film any violence, which we gave away to networks and TV stations. When I started to look into this footage, I found there were many stories people just kept for themselves, and no one stopped and asked what had happened to those people. One was a 20-second clip, very violent, leaked from an Egyptian prison. And I thought, I will use this as the beginning, and invent the rest.
On TV the revolution looked so collective, but your film is about isolation.
This was my main feeling when I went into Tahrir Square. Yes, we were all chanting, yet I felt very isolated, and I was sure the moment Mubarak stepped down we wouldn’t be one solid being as we were. There was always a louder voice of the crowd, but I wanted to give this [protagonist] his own voice, and he’s not talking. So the film is just following this guy: I wanted people just to be on his side.
When you translate thoughts and feelings into words, people start to judge. But I wanted to go two or three steps back and ask the first questions: why did we go to the streets in the first place and what will happen to this guy? Why and what do we have to change?
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