Drama - Completed 2012

Winter of Discontent
Set against the backdrop of the whirlwind protests of Cairo’s Tahrir Square that began on January 25th, 2011, this film by Ibrahim El Batout takes us on a compellingly raw, starkly moving journey into the lives of activist Amr, journalist Farah, and State Security Officer Adel.

& Awards

La Biennale di Venezia - Venice FF 2012
Cairo IFF 2012
Arab Feature Film Int'l Comp. Special Mention
Dubai DIFF 2012
Muhr Arab Feature Best Actor: Amr Waked
    • Year of production
    • 2012
    • Genres
    • Drama
    • Countries
    • EGYPT
    • Languages
    • ARABIC
    • Budget
    • 1 - 3 M$
    • Duration
    • 94 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Ibrahim ELBATOUT
    • Writer(s)
    • Ibrahim ELBATOUT, Ahmed AMER, Youssef NAIM
    • Producer(s)
    • Amr WAKED (ZAD), Ibrahim ELBATOUT (AIN SHAMS), Tamer MORTADA (AROMA), Ahmed ELZOGHBY (Material House)
    • Synopsis
    • Amr is a 35 year old man who wakes up one day to a very different Egypt. Amr rarely leaves home as he works from his place designing software. It is January 25th, 2011 and Amr starts the day with news of protests all over Cairo and marches leading to Tahrir square. Something tells him that these protests will lead to major political change.
      Farah, a woman is in her early 30’s, is a news anchor on Egyptian television. The news Farah gives her audience is very different from the news presented online or on international news channels. She gives the news minimizing the impact of the protests. Her conscience starts weighing on her.
      Adel, a man in his 40’s, is an officer in the State Security apparatus. The 25th of January is a very busy day at his office with huge numbers of arrested protesters arriving for questioning.
      A couple of years earlier, Adel was the officer assigned to interrogate Amr and also torture him. Amr was blindfolded and tortured for weeks and suddenly released.
      Once Amr was released from prison, he went back home only to get the devastating news of his mother’s death. He was still engaged to Farah at that time after a long love story. His relationship with Farah ended abruptly.
      Amr continues to watch the news on the 25th of January not daring to go out and participate. Although he feels that those protests could lead to change, something inside him tells him that change would never happen.
      After what happens on the 28th, when the Regime’s thugs enter the square on horses and camels, attacking protesters, Farah decides that she will quit her job and shoots testimonials to document the events. The problem is that the internet is down in Egypt and she is not able to send those video files online. She suddenly remembers that Amr has a satellite phone.
      On the 29th, Farah knocks on Amr’s door for the first time in two years. When Farah asks Amr to use his phone, he feels surprised but also proud of her. He uploads the videos knowing that the State Security will track his phone and maybe arrest him hours or even minutes later. He is prepared for yet another confrontation.
      After the police lost the battle on the 28th, the State Security continues to work but they change headquarters and methods. Amr is arrested and taken to a prison somewhere. He shows little struggle.
      Amr gets to know all about the revolution in prison. Amr is stronger this time than the first time he was arrested. When he is called in for questioning, Amr hears the voice of the officer, his torturer from two years ago. Now he is able to put a face to all the evil that was inflicted upon him.
      On that same night, Amr is released somewhere in the desert. From there he hitches a ride and goes to stay with his friend Malik. Malik welcomes Amr and they both act as vigilantes.
      On February 10th, Amr and Malik at are both certain that Mubarak is resigning. They turn the TV on and they realize that Mubarak is not going anywhere. The next day floods of people arrive at Tahrir square. As soon as the Vice President appears on TV and announces that Mubarak stepped down, the mood changes from angry protesting to celebrating.
      Amr enters the square. He’s holding a flag. He disappears in the sea of bodies all in a celebratory mood enjoying their freedom for the first time. Adel is watching from an apartment overlooking Tahrir square. Amr finds Farah and they celebrate with others this historical day.
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Feb 01, 2011