Whose revolution?

FEMINISM: Following a string of sexual assaults, As I Want documents a burgeoning women’s rebellion.

Samaher Alqadi’s As I Want is a much-needed corrective to the feel-good stories we like to tell ourselves about those on the frontlines of righteous rebellion. On the second anniversary of the 2011 Egyptian uprising that brought down the government of Hosni Mubarak, another gathering in Cairo’s infamous square ignited a second reckoning. One that forced many of the country’s citizens, including the filmmaker herself, to ask a difficult question: Whose revolution?

As I Want, a film by Samaher Alqadi

«the revolutionary womb»

For what happened that day was a shamefully underreported outrage – a series of sexual assaults that supporters of the status quo patriarchy either egged on, shrugged off, or blamed on the victims themselves. Which in turn sparked days of bitter, female-led protests – all culminating in the unexpected birth of a sort of 60s-style, feminist consciousness raising rarely visible in the Middle East. The women of Egypt’s anti-harassment movement suddenly began speaking up and out – and of rage as beautiful. Yet also of their fears with regards to living under Islamic . . .

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Lauren Wissot
A US-based film critic and journalist, filmmaker and programmer.
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