NEWS AND REVIEWS
Maryam Al Khawaja Arrested in Bahrain
Authorities in Bahrain have released Shia political activist Maryam Abdulhadi al-Khawaja but the charges against her still stand, the Gulf state’s interior ministry said in a statement.
Al-Khawaja, arrested after arriving at Manama airport last month and accused of assaulting a police officer, was released dependent on a guarantee of her place of residence and is banned from travelling, Thursday’s statement said.
There is a moment in director Greg Barker’s documentary “We Are the Giant” when we are confronted by a young girl singing a sweet song of revolution in Arabic, while a peaceful protest against the Syrian government unfolds in the streets behind her. Her smile is wide and her voice lovely until a blast erupts no more than a yard behind her, the camera swerving as smoke billows and mangled figures lurch around in confusion. Perhaps mercifully, we never see what has become of the girl; within the same reel, there is another senseless massacre, as one man hoarsely shouts amidst a barrage of bullets, flanked by dead bodies. “It was peaceful!” he cries out, unable to understand what prompted the police to open fire.
The Bottom Line
A slickly assembled and insightful documentary that looks at three individual stories from the Arab Spring. In his latest documentary, director Greg Barker looks at the Arab Spring through the prism of a handful of first-hand participants in Libya, Syria and Bahrain. The rather abstract and complex subject of the Arab Spring is given a human face — or, more correctly, a handful of articulate talking heads — in the slickly assembled We Are the Giant, from director Greg Barker (last year’s Emmy-winning documentary Manhunt).