"Mohamed Siam's intelligent, immediate doc charts a young woman's coming of age against the turbulent backdrop of recent Egyptian politics." - Variety
"An empathetic record of post-revolution disillusionment, Mohamed Siam's absorbing Amal is of obvious value as a snapshot and historical document. " - The Hollywood Reporter
"The film's insights into the gendered nature of dissent make this a talking point property." - Screen International
This riveting account of a young female Egyptian activist and her fight for personal and political emancipation unfolds over the momentous six years following the Arab Spring.
Amal's father prophesied to her shortly before his death in 2008, “One day, there will be a revolution in Egypt. Do what you want; don’t be afraid.” Just fourteen at the time of the Arab Spring and Egypt's Tahrir Square revolution in 2011, Amal bravely took to the streets, demanding her voice be heard and worming her way into the masculine world of Cairo’s ultras. Their fight continued beyond the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak and the military’s assumption of power, in the name of unfinished liberation that had already been dearly paid for. We meet Amal just after her boyfriend has been killed, and she has been violently assaulted by armed police.
Over the next six years, Director Mohamed Siam proceeds to chronicle the spirited and unguarded girl's coming of age alongside her country's parallel struggle towards freedom in the post-Tahrir Square turbulence, through the democratic election of Mohamed Morsi, the ensuing disillusionment, and General el-Sisi’s counter-revolutionary coup d'état. Amal’s voice is as revealing and insightful in its early courageousness as in its later sobriety, as the democratic hopes of the revolution wane and she is left to confront the depth of biases that prevail in her society and the imperviousness of its power structure.
Amal finds herself faced with an uncompromising, seemingly contradictory, reality as an independent-minded young woman struggling to assert herself in an Arab police state. Yet she hasn’t fully abandoned a conviction to the idea behind of her name; ‘Amal’ means simply — hope.
Amal captures the power of her voice, and the emblematic trajectory of her youth in this period of Egypt’s history.
83 minutes - Arabic with English subtitles