"If" is the coming-of-age story of four young women during the Egyptian revolution. Shimaa, the lead character we followed during the revolution, is in many ways a typical young woman, but with an exceptionally informed and unique voice. Shimaa is an avid reader of literature. She identifies with Holden Caulfield and discusses the contemporary political implications of Orwell's 1984. She blogs about politics, philosophy and biotechnology, her major at university. Her world is forever changed on January 25, 2011. Defying her parents, she is one of the first to head to Tahrir Square. Her alienation gives way to activism--Holden Caulfield in 1968.
Our second character is Mona, an active blogger, whose mother is a prominent human rights activist. Mona becomes a tweeter extraordinaire. She is involved in the early planning of the revolution; as the movement progresses, her Twitter following grows to 10,000; through her Blackberry, her voice reaches the world.
The third character is Sarah, a curator of contemporary art at the Townhouse Gallery in Cairo. Used to viewing the world throughthe meta-lens of post-modern art, she too is quickly caught up in the revolution. When her friends are trapped in Tahrir Square without Internet access she starts to disseminate information to journalists through Twitter. Sarah moves from a world of ideas to a world of concrete action.
The fourth character is Nora, a young Egyptian woman who was getting her Masters degree in Brussels when the revolution started. She immediately heads back to Egypt with a job at the International Federation of Journalists. As she describes it, her role there "is to make sure that you don't go missing."
These four characters are representative of both the discontent that led to the revolution and the incredible optimism and activism that propelled it. The film is a nuanced story of four personal journeys interwoven, and also a portrait of the revolution. The Arab Spring continues to unfold with these four characters playing an ongoing role. They represent a dynamic, young, cross-section of the people who changed Egyptian society, and the future of the Arab world. Through them we will explore how they changed their world, and how the revolution changed them.
We need funding to return to Egypt and continue filming our characters as their stories unfold. We would also like to begin editing existing footage.
Check out our recent projects on the Egyptian revolution:
Documentary short related to "If" published on Granta Magazine's website
Four Women, One Revolution
Faces of the Facebook Revolution
Published in Vanity Fair
- (35 days)