Icarus Films is distributing in the U.S. and Canada, Michal Goldman’s new documentary, “Nasser’s Republic, The Making of Modern Egypt,” the first film for a Western audience about Gamal Abdel Nasser, one of the world’s most transformative leaders.
In 1952, a then-unknown young Egyptian colonel led a coup that became a revolution. Over the next 18 years, Gamal Abdel Nasser challenged Western hegemony abroad and confronted Islamism at home, and faced deep divisions among the Arabs. He emerged as a titanic figure, a champion of Arab progress and African liberation, but he could not offer democracy. Instead, Nasser established the region’s first authoritarian military regime. A man of enormous charisma and ambition, Nasser became caught in the coils of his own power, dying at the age of 52 with dreams unrealized. The Arab Spring and its aftermath are his legacy: a period of turmoil when Egyptians argued passionately about their history as a way to see what course to follow in the future. It is their voices—peasants and professors, secularists and Islamists—that drive Goldman’s essential documentary.
The film uses rare archival material, new expert interviews and narration by actress Hiam Abbas to create an invaluable resource for historians, students and scholars.
Director Michal Goldman’s previous film, “Umm Kulthum, A Voice Like Egypt” (1996), a vibrant portrait of a superstar singer, was an official selection of the New York Film Festival, winner of the Golden Plaque for Documentary at the Chicago International Film Festival, and winner of the Promoting Tolerance Award from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
“Nasser’s Republic” is now available for college and university libraries, and bookings at movie theaters, cinematheques and film festivals. It’s next scheduled to screen at the Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) in Los Angeles this Thursday, February 16 at 8:35pm, and again on Saturday, February 18 at 4:00pm. You can pre-order tickets online here.
Watch a trailer for the documentary below: