Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

October 31, 2014

Shooting the Arab Spring

Filed under: Counterpunch,Film — louisproyect @ 7:30 pm
Two Films: “Point and Shoot” and “Die Welt”

Shooting the Arab Spring

by LOUIS PROYECT

On December 17, 2010 Tunisian street vendor Tarek al-Tayeb Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire to protest police brutality and corruption. His martyrdom touched off the Arab Spring that affected just about every nation in the Middle East and North Africa, including Libya. This week I saw two films that should be of great interest to anybody with more than a passing interest in the ongoing struggle for human rights and social justice in the region, which means just about every CounterPunch reader. Both are sober accounts of the human costs of the struggle and a step back from the heady enthusiasm that was associated with the Arab Spring, a term that now requires some interrogation given the distressing conjuncture. Whether or not the term Arab Winter is more justified is open to argument. In any case, to help understand the ongoing process, “Point and Shoot”, a documentary about Matt VanDyke, an American who took up arms against Qaddafi, and “Die Welt”, a narrative film about Tunisia, are good places to start. Leaving aside their value as social commentary, these are two films of the highest achievement artistically and on the inside track for my nomination as best documentary and foreign film of 2014.

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Trailers for films under review:

 

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