9 September | 18.00 h, 20.00 h, 22.00 h
Cinema Libanon: Charity Screening
Entrance: euro 10,- | combination ticket euro 25,-
Location: De Balie, Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen 10, Amsterdam
URL: www. balie.nl
With introductions by Pierre Sarraf (director Né à Beyrouth)
Lebanon, and more specifically Beirut, still conjure two very
dichotomous and cliché images in the West: either the lamented former
glory of the pearl of the Middle East, or the atrocities of a 15-year
protracted civil war. With the media saturation of the recent war
between Israel and Hizbullah still fresh, and the shaky promise of a
brittle ceasefire, Lebanon once again risks to fall prey to
stereotyping. In defiance of the war and in solidarity with the
humanitarian crisis in Lebanon, De Balie organises an evening of films,
documentaries and videos by Lebanese makers, in collaboration with the
Lebanese production house and film festival Né à Beyrouth.
The selection of films are testimony to the resistance of Lebanese
artists to a historical and cultural amnesia, and show that being
rooted in contemporary Lebanon is as much a commemoration of an untold
past, as it is a reflection on and of the present.
With thanks to: Pierre Sarraf (Né à Beyrouth), Joanna Hadjithomas &
Khalil Joreige, Celluloid Dreams, Akram Zaatari, and other
Ticket sale donated to humantiarian relief causes in Lebanon.
BLOCK 1: 18.00 h
"Ce sera beau, from Beirut with love" Wael Nouredinne, 30min, 2005
From Beirut – with Love:. A cinematic postcard greeting, so bitter and
cynical, it can only come from a city being at war with itself.
"In this house", Akram Zaatari, 30 min, 2004 (video)
At the end of the Lebanese civil war in 1991, Ali, a member of the
Lebanese resistance, wrote a letter to the owners of the house his
group had occupied for six years. In November 2002, Akram Zaatari took
his video camera and headed to this family’s village in Ain al-Mir to
dig up Ali’s letter.
Improvised shorts – reflections on the recent war by Joanna Hadjithomas
& Khalil Joreige, Akram Zaatari, Michel Kammoun, Hani Tamba, and Ziad
BLOCK 2: 20.00 h
"Meshwar" 26 min, Ziad Antar & Marc Casal Liotier 2005 (DV cam)
The assassination of former prime minister Rafiq Harari in February
2005, and the instable security situation in Lebanon, has brought back
memories of the civil war.
“All is well on the border", 43 min, Akram Zaatari (video)
Issues of representation within the occupied zone of South Lebanon are
explored in this documentary. The film’s three staged interviews with
Lebanese prisoners in Israel illustrate aspects of life under
occupation with convincing poignancy. Zaatari uses the interview format
as a tribute to French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard’s Here And Elsewhere,
which probed images of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict in South
Lebanon 20 years earlier.
BLOCK 3: 22.00 h
"My friend Imad and the Taxi", 19 min, Olga Nakkas/Hassan Zbib, Lebanon
(1985 and 2005)
In 1985, Hassan Zbib and Olga Nakkas separately started to develop film
scenarios based on simple narratives. Their work took Beirut as a stage
where lonely characters drifted: a taxi driver in his car, a man
walking around and talking to a Rambo poster. These films were never
presented as finalized works until a Beirut-based festival, Né à
Beyrouth, spotted them and asked the filmmakers to present their films
with live electronic music.
"A Perfect Day", 88min, Khalil Joreige en Joanna Hadjithomas, 2005
Stuck in a traffic jam, Malek catches a glance of Zeina, the woman he
loves. His mother Claudia has still not accepted his father’s
disappearance after 15 years. She stays at home should her husband
return, Malek drives around the city alone in his car. Each of them
living with a void of lost love.