“A breathless pace, a sense of black humor and a great central character make The Reluctant Revolutionary one of the most immediate and accessible descriptions of the Arab Spring yet to emerge.”
The Hollywood Reporter (11/02/2012)
“It makes for a strong, political start in Panorama Dokumente (…) I couldn’t believe my luck when I watched it, because it presents images from the burning revolution in Yemen that are unlike anything we’ve seen on television.”
Wieland Speck, Panorama Programmer
The Reluctant Revolutionary is investigative journalism of the most intense kind, a document of the personal involvement in the course of history. Whatever one may hear about the role of social networks for the organisation and impact of such revolutions, they only become real in the old-fashioned but fearlessly engaged way in which Sean McAllister brings them to the big screen.
The Reluctant Revolutionary is an intimate portrait of Yemen as the revolution unfolds, told through the eyes of Kais, an intelligent if ambivalent commentator on the changing times in Yemen, offering poignant moments of reflection, loss, anger and hope on the unknown road to revolution and change.
After leaving school at 16 Sean worked in and out of factories before finding a camera and filming his way into the National Film School. He graduated in 1996. Since 1996 Sean McAllister has made films for both the BBC and Channel 4; working in the UK, Israel, Iraq, Japan, and most recently Syria, and The Yemen.
“My duty as a filmmaker is to get beyond the performance”
Sean’s films portray, with characteristic intimacy and frankness, people from different parts of the world who are struggling to survive but are survivors, caught up in political and personal conflict, trying to make sense of the world we live in.
From his early films Working for the Enemy (1997) and Minders (1998), both nominated for a Royal Television Society Awards, to his more recent successes, Sundance Jury Prize-winning Liberace of Baghdad (2004) and Japan: A Story of Love and Hate (2008), Sean’s work continues to inspire, to surprise and to fascinate audiences.
The Reluctant Revolutionary is part of our Arab Spring day on Friday May 4th at 7pm, click here to book FREE tickets.
“The great thing about Sean’s films is that he champions the characters in his documentaries, he always takes a loser and makes them a winner.”
D A Pennebaker