[12/21/11 - 10:51 AM]
HBO2 Documentary "In Tahrir Square: 18 Days of Egypt's Unfinished Revolution" Debuts Jan. 25
Emmy-winning documentary filmmakers Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill are behind the project.

[via press release from HBO]


They took over a city square and in 18 days brought down a regime that had ruled for 30 years. Emmy(R)-winning documentary filmmakers Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill were on the scene in Cairo, capturing the sights, sounds and passion of a modern-day revolution.

IN TAHRIR SQUARE: 18 DAYS OF EGYPT'S UNFINISHED REVOLUTION brings viewers into the streets of Cairo to experience first-hand what began as a small, peaceful demonstration and quickly grew into a revolutionary movement that would force the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. The exclusive HBO2 documentary debuts WEDNESDAY JAN. 25 (8:00-8:45 p.m. ET/PT).

Other HBO2 playdate: Jan. 29 (11:45 a.m., 5:15 a.m.)

On Jan. 25, 2011, thousands of Egyptians from all walks of life and every social class began gathering in Cairo's Tahrir Square. Bolstered by similar protests in other Arab countries and mobilized in part by social media, they were there to demand the end to President Hosni Mubarak's three-decade rule. Directors Alpert and O'Neill immerse the viewer in the world of the protestors, from the peaceful first days of the uprising through the deadly battles between pro-Mubarak forces and anti-Mubarak demonstrators.

At the center of IN TAHRIR SQUARE is young Egyptian-American journalist Sharif Abdel Kouddous, who leads cameras into Tahrir and provides insightful accounts of those tense days. Part of a family of prominent Egyptian journalists - his grandfather was a famous writer and his uncle, also a journalist, is a longtime Mubarak foe and prominent member of the Muslim Brotherhood - Kouddous attended Duke University and is currently a correspondent and producer for the American radio and TV show "Democracy Now!" His tweets and live reporting from Tahrir Square attracted international attention.

Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians ultimately participated in the protests at Tahrir Square, and nearly 850 were killed. On Feb. 11, 2011, the 18th day, more than a million Egyptians joined the revolution in the square and witnessed the surprise announcement by Egypt's vice president that Mubarak would step down. At that historic moment of Egyptian pride, the crowd rejoiced, chanting in unison, "Lift your head up, you're Egyptian," and "God is great!" On the phone to an American news broadcast, an emotional Kouddous reported, "Everyone is proud to be Egyptian today. Everyone who fights for democracy and fights for freedom is Egyptian today, and stands with us."

IN TAHRIR SQUARE: 18 DAYS OF EGYPT'S UNFINISHED REVOLUTION was produced and directed by the team of Jon Alpert (15 national Emmys(R)) and Matthew O'Neill (three national Emmys(R)), whose previous HBO projects include the Emmy(R)-winning "Baghdad ER" (2006); the Emmy(R)-nominated "Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq" (2007) and "Section 60: Arlington National Cemetery" (2008); the Academy Award(R)-nominated "China's Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province" (2009); and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award-winning "Wartorn: 1861-2010" (2010).

Alpert and O'Neill work at Manhattan's Downtown Community Television Center (DCTV), a community media center founded by Alpert and his wife, Keiko Tsuno, in 1972.

Producer Jacqueline Soohen is an award-winning filmmaker with more than ten years of experience making social documentaries that emphasize global justice. Her films include "Fallujah" (2005) and "Shocking and Awful" (2005), which were featured in the 2006 Whitney Biennial.

IN TAHRIR SQUARE: 18 DAYS OF EGYPT'S UNFINISHED REVOLUTION was directed by Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill; produced by Jon Alpert, Matthew O'Neill and Jacqueline Soohen; edited by Patrick McMahon, A.C.E.; original music by Nicholas Pike. For HBO: supervising producer, Jacqueline Glover; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.

  [december 2011]  

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