We know that outdoor cinema
can inspire change, but oftentimes it's the movie on the screen rather than the screen itself that inspires. This past February, we witnessed the perfect marriage of these two, when the documentary, The Square
, was shown in the the central square in Kiev where Ukrainian activists were setup to protest their own government. The Ukrainian activists translated the oscar nominated documentary about the Egyptian revolution, into their own language and organized a skype interview withВ Achmed one of the subjects of the documentary. Showing the documentary in the Maidan with outdoor cinema
equipment, wasn't just a way to entertain people protesting in 15 degree below weather. At the end of the screening, Jehan Noujaim, the director of The Square, told bloomberg news they said the Maidan will not be free until the Al - Midan [Arabic for The Square
] is free.
Outdoor Cinema as Part of a Movement
is a documentary on the Egyptian Revolution told from the perspective of several citizen journalists and activists who met in Tahrir Square, where the revolution began on january 25th, 2011. Along with many other recent movements across the world, the Egyptian revolution used the control of public space to make every day citizen's demands visible.В It was images of the Tunisian revolution, passed around traditional and social media that sparked the protests and revolutions we refer to as the arab spring. In The Square, activists set up an outdoor cinema
in tahrir, to show clips of the protest movement sent from peoples cellphones and cameras.В And it was just that sort of inspiration that the protesters in the maidan were hoping for when they showed The Square
.В Jehan Noujaim goes on to say in that interview with bloomberg news there's an interconnectivity that's happening right now thats truly amazing to watch. It's a new kind of movement of young people using public spaces to demand very basic human rights.
Outdoor Cinema and its International Use
All over the world, from the Arab Spring, to protests in Venezuela, groups of people are demanding basic rights by claiming public space. While The Square's
subject matter makes it uniquely appropriate for an outdoor cinema,
there are many other examples of people using outdoor cinema for all sorts of causes. We've talked about a few of them here in our blog, The Kafranbel Arts Festival, The Kwetu Film Institute in Rwanda, and you can be sure we'll be sharing them with you here at open air cinema into the future.