The rebellions in the Arab world were quickly wrapped with the blue ribbon of the “Arab Spring” – a simplifying bracket that sounds well, a verbal embrace that also suppresses all details. Pauline Beugnies’ film refers to Egypt, explicitly to the “Tahrir generation”. And it refers to the young woman who smiles into the camera at the beginning and has diagnosed a mental disorder in herself and her contemporaries: the great happiness of having been part of it combined with deep regret at having launched the movement.
But is it still alive, that spirit of departure of the early 2011 Egyptian revolution? Or has it adapted already, to the new circumstances, the limitations that quickly grew back, the mushrooming authorities? Beugnies talks to young people who may well be called “old revolutionaries”, even though hardly anyone among them is over 30. She confronts them with recordings of the people they were then – strange re-encounters with old identities they remember like lost friends. She lets them talk about the last years, about the children that were born, the disappointments and the wear and tear of life. But still: they sometimes talk as aggressively and exuberantly as they did in 2011.
Sylvia Görke (catalogue)
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