There’s been extensive media coverage of the ‘Arab Spring’, with much of the focus falling on Egypt. And whilst the country came together to help bring down President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, Egypt is not, and never will be, a united country. It’s a subject which has fascinated documentary film-makers. In his debut film, 678, Mohamed Diab tackled sexual harassment in Cairo. In Clash, he appraises the life in Egypt after the failed revolution.
The year is 2013. The army has just unseated the directly elected Freedom for Justice Party, led by Mohamed Morsi. People come out onto the streets in force to protest for and against the Muslim Brotherhood’s party. Violence soon erupts. The police arrest groups of protesters from both sides, including a couple of journalists; detaining them inside a police van. Cramped inside the vehicle, in intense heat and without water, tensions soon begin to rise
Given that the story is isolated inside one location, it’s remarkable just how compelling, powerful and thrilling Clash is. Diab makes brilliant use of the space, building up tension both inside and outside. Indeed, whilst a sharp script and superior acting within the van allows a powder keg to smoulder, it’s the set-pieces outside which really move events forward. Their reactions serve to both bring the group together and push them apart, demonstrating the futility of the situation and the divides that have riven Egyptian society. Clash is a brilliantly made, gripping insight into what brings us together and drives us apart.
Special Edition Contents:
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
• Original 5.1 audio
• New optional English subtitle translation
• Tales From the Van, a new interview with director Mohamed Diab
• Making-of Featurette
• Reversible sleeve featuring alternate artwork
Clash is released on Blu-ray by Arrow Academy on Monday 14 August.