Film shows Egypt's "Winter of Discontent" spark hope
By Shaimaa Fayed
CAIRO (Reuters) - As Egyptian director Ibrahim el-Batout stood among the crowds in Cairo's Tahrir Square on the eve of Hosni Mubarak's overthrow last year, his first instinct was to start filming.
A quick call to actor Amr Waked, an early supporter of last year's uprising, and actress Farah Youssef, and within a few hours the trio were shooting a scene in Tahrir in which a man searches for his girlfriend amid the throng.
The result is "Winter of Discontent", a film with a message of hope that marks a more upbeat departure for a director who spent almost two decades portraying the despair of war.
"In all I've witnessed, I've only seen broken human beings, I've only seen broken souls," el-Batout said. "On that day in Tahrir I saw people coming to life again and that's incredible."
"I looked into their eyes and thought 'you were dead 18 days ago. Now you are back again.' This I haven't seen anywhere else."
The film trails an activist, a journalist and a state security officer in 2009 and the way they converge two years later during Egypt's 18-day "Arab Spring" uprising against Mubarak and his widely hated state security apparatus.
In an interview with Reuters, el-Batout and Waked said the film was not about Egypt's political developments but an attempt to convey how something positive can emerge from human agony.
"It's a message of human resilience," says Waked. Continued...