Half Revolution tells the story of a group of friends living near Tahrir Square at the start of the Egyptian Revolution. They all have strong ties to Egypt, although they do represent a mix of nationalities. The story they tell is an interesting one: they are quite supportive of the revolution and do go out into the streets; however, their role is unsurprisingly more that of the documentarian than the full-on revolutionary. This isn't to say that even though they eventually leave, they aren't taking real risks when they're out filming. One of the group is beaten by Mubarak's thugs and all of them become increasing fearful as the hardliners take the streets near them.
Note at the start that I do say it is the story of the friends, not the revolution. This isn't to say that they don't try to tell the story of the revolution; they get the reactions of people on the street and do get footage of the action. However, I think the cosmopolitan nature of the group of filmmakers works against them to an extent as the full story of the revolution ultimately belongs to those that couldn't leave. Similarly, while we got a variety of expressions from people on the street, we didn't get much in the way of interviews with key leaders or representative samples.
This not to knock the filmmakers. I think they had two choices: to go with a short film, perhaps less than a half hour, that just told the story of the revolution and relegated themselves to full observer status, or to tell their stories, which does add to what we know about what happened while also giving us characters to relate to a sense of the fear they were working under. Directors Omar Shargawi and Karim El Hakim have done Egypt a service in my view and may well represent the start of what I suspect will be a larger phenomenon of filmmakers with the necessary talent and skill to record events that they happen to be on scene for. Likely, future key events may even have multiple such filmmakers on hand, and they will have the option of working together to give an even wider lens to such key events.
Photos of Tahrir Square and the burned National Democratic Party headquarters by myself and my mother. Available under a creative commons license.
Source: Silver Docs Tickets from my mother. Thanks Mom!