It goes without saying that the events that took place at Tahrir Square last year have had an impact on people. These events reflected people’s will to change their lives in Arab countries oppressed by dictators, but now it is time to take a step back and show the world how these days of revolt unfolded. In After the Battle, director Yousry Nasrallah is especially interested in the day-to-day lives of two people living completely different lives. Reem on the one hand is a militant journalist who has entered the modern world and wants to see her country get there, too. Then there’s Mahmoud, the humiliated father of a family in hardship who lets himself be manipulated to fight for power. The meeting of the two will open this man’s eyes to the future of his country.
Between family reunions, disputes among couples crushed by the events and their inability to understand others, After the Battle juxtaposes two visions: militancy on the one hand and on the other those who merely want to feed their families. And it is sometimes difficult to make them live side by side yet here the director shows us it can be done. By this alone, the film is more than interesting enough, and delivers a message in keeping with the events that unfolded, but on a more intimate and personal level all the while exposing the mistakes made by these regimes promoting tourism at the expense of the lives of their own people.
We could criticize the film for its somewhat confusing storyline, which drags on a bit too long and would have been clearer and better timed had it focused on the essentials. Nonetheless, it deserves credit for making us ponder the events that may end up changing hearts and therefore the world…but as the last shot shows, this is only the start of the revolution and there is still a mountain of things to accomplish to bring more freedom to these people.