Director Mohamed Siam wanted to make a film about youth, anger and change, and decided to tell the story of Amal, a 14-year-old from Cairo, Egypt. The result is a coming-of-age documentary that begins in 2011 with the Arab Spring and follows Amal’s experience of the protests at the Tahrir Square in Cairo. Amal is encouraged by her follow protesters to stay home because she is a girl, but she refuses to be silenced and restrained. Director Siam catches on camera how she furiously throws herself into the revolution and screams at a police officer before she is brutally pulled by her hair across the street.
The film follows Egypt’s development over the course of five years, seen through the eyes of Amal. As the country changes, so does Amal and her view of the political situation. Amal thus becomes a powerful symbol of a generation and its attempts to find its place in the junction between the dreams of change following the Arab Spring and the harsh realities in Egypt.
Amal opened the prestigious documentary festival IDFA in 2017 to strong reviews.
This text is from the Films from the South Festival, where the film had its Scandinavian Premiere.
"Siam gives his film a strong sense of place, marked by chaos and flux - a city where you can drive past a "Welcome to Egypt" sign and army tanks within two blocks and where revolution may lead you to come full circle."
"Intelligent, immediate doc (...) Siam’s bittersweet film elegantly maintains its dual personal and political narrative without undue contrivance. The engrossing, quietly upsetting result should travel widely"
Director Mohamed Siam
Producer Myriam Sassine, Mohamed Siam
Production Company Abbout Productions, ArtKhana
Norwegian co-producer Ingrid Lill Høgtun
Norwegian co-production company Barentsfilm AS
Runtime 1h 23m