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The Egyptian Revolution, Part II

CAIRO – Following a week of massive street protests in which millions of Egyptians took to the street starting on the anniversary of Mohammed Morsi's election as president, the Egyptian military has announced the removal of Morsi as the president of the nation. The country's constitution is now temporarily suspended, a technocrat government will be put in place and new elections are to be organized.

Mohammed Morsi was Egypt's first democratically elected president who won the elections organized after protests of the Arab Spring brought down president Hosni Mubarak. Morsi stayed in office only for one year, during which he solidified his grip on power by granting himself unlimited powers to "protect the nation" and by putting in place legislation without judicial oversight or review. This angered many Egyptians that took to the streets already last November.

Mohammed Morsi, who is the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, has called his removal a "full coup" by the generals of the Egyptian military. The military has now also taken over state television and shut down stations run by the Muslim Brotherhood, and crackdowns on organizations and people affiliated with the Brotherhood have been reported. The country now remains in a critical situation as the divide between those backing and opposing Morsi deepens.

In 2011, the Cinema for Peace Gala in Berlin focused time-critically on the revolution that was taking place on Tahrir Square in Egypt. While the Gala was to take place on Monday, Sean Penn and Cinema for Peace Founder Jaka Bizilj were having breakfast on a Sunday morning after landing in Berlin when Sean got hopeful text messages from his friend Khaled Nabawy directly from Tahrir Square, who had played a role alongside Sean Penn in the film "Fair Game" and was one of the leaders of the revolution. Khaled was flown in spontaneously the very next day to the Gala to hold an extraordinary speech on what had happened in Egypt. He praised the revolution while commemorating its victims by saying, 'I'm very happy to share with you a moment we treasure the most, the moment of our Egyptian Revolution. (…) For the first time in thousands of years that entire nation embarked, in such a peaceful and civilized way, to give the country its dignity and pride back. Those people shed their blood for the freedom of their country. (…) We are dreaming and we hope the world can dream with us!”
We invite you to watch the following trailers on the topic of Egypt and the Arab Spring:
  • Cinema for Peace Gala 2011 – actor Khaled Nabawy's speech on the Revolution in Egypt
  • TAHRIR 2011: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE POLITICIAN by Tamer Ezzat, Ahmad Abdalla, Ayten Amin and Amr Salama is a laudable attempt to steer away from reportage and reflect on what historians will index as the first chapter of the uprising.
  • IN TAHRIR SQUARE: 18 DAYS OF EGYPT'S UNFINISHED REVOLUTION by Jon Alpert helps audiences experience first-hand the people-powered revolt that brought down a dictator and changed Egypt forever.
  • ½ REVOLUTION by Omar Shargawi and Karim El Hakim is a personal, intimate story from the Arab Spring: a group of friends living in downtown Cairo struggle to stay together during the first chaotic days of the Egyptian Revolution.
  • BACK TO THE SQUARE by Petr Lom. Six months after the historic revolution that overthrew President Mubarak of Egypt, we learn from five witnesses what happened next. What is being achieved? What changed in their lives?
  • TAHRIR: THE LIBERATION SQUARE by Stefano Savona is the real-time chronicle of the two most exciting weeks in the history of modern Egypt as lived by their protagonists.
  • GOODBYE, MUBARAK! takes us to Egypt during the fall of 2010, in the run-up to legislative elections. What we discover is a revolution-in-waiting already simmering under the surface of Egyptian society.