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by Sean McAllister


Sana’a tour operator Kais just about manages to scrape together a living from the few fearless travellers who dare to come to Yemen. At first Kais is sceptical about the protesters that set up their vigil against President Saleh at the beginning of the wave of Arab Spring protests, but once he begins working for this film’s director as a translator, he and his younger brother Abdulrahman both join in protests which even peacefully unite members of tribes that are otherwise at enmity. In these difficult times Kais’ wife is expecting her third child. The state of emergency puts an even greater strain on the family’s already difficult financial situation. Moreover, Kais feels responsible for the English filmmaker that the Yemeni secret service deem an unwanted foreign journalist and seek to expel as soon as possible. Filmed over a period of one year, this documentary reveals the tension that was already present in Yemen three months prior to the first protests – a result of thirty-three years of Ali Abdullah Saleh’s dictatorship.

international title: The Reluctant Revolutionary
original title: The Reluctant Revolutionary
country: United Kingdom, Ireland
year: 2012
genre: documentary
directed by: Sean McAllister
film run: 70'
cinematography by: Sean McAllister
film editing: Johnny Burke
music: Denis Clohessy
producer: Elhum Shakerifar
production: Tenfoot Films, Underground Film
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