Lebanon

Mohamed Soueid – Cinema Fouad (1993)

Quote:
Khaled, a Syrian transgender migrant who was born male, dreams of undergoing gender transition surgery. While trying to make a living from various menial jobs, she falls in love with a Palestinian freedom fighter and joins his resistance. Gently, compassionately, Cinema Fouad draws a portrait of Khaled and introduces the viewer to one of Beirut’s rarely seen netherworlds. Read More »

Marwa Arsanios – Have you ever killed a bear? or Becoming Jamila (2014)

Quote:
A video that uses the history of a magazine – Cairo’s Al-Hilal ‘50s and ‘60s collection – as the starting point for an inquiry into Jamila Bouhired, the Algerian freedom fighter. An actress designated to play her role is showing the magazine’s covers to the camera. From the different representations of Jamila in cinema to her assimilation and promotion through the magazine, the performance attempts to look at the history of socialist projects in Egypt, anti-colonial wars in Algeria, and the way they have promoted and marginalized feminist projects. Read More »

Jocelyne Saab – War Children AKA Les Enfants de la Guerre (1976)

A few days after the Karantina massacre, in a predominantly Muslim slum in Beirut, Jocelyne Saab meets the surviving children, who are marked by the horrific visions of the combat they witnessed. After giving them pens to draw with and inviting them to play under the watchful eye of her camera, the director is faced with a bitter realization: they no longer know any other game than that of war, and it will soon become a profession for them as well. Read More »

Michel Kammoun – Falafel (2006) (DVD)

A summer evening in Beirut. The life of Toufic, a young Lebanese man, and his nightly strolls. Between his family, friends and love affairs, he tries to seize every day of his life, through pleasures and entertainment. For him, every second is the most important. Soon he discovers that having a normal life, in this country, is a luxury. 15 years after the war had ended, a volcano is lying dormant on every street corner, like a time-ticking bomb that is ready explode… This night will be pivotal in the life of the young man. It was produced by Elle Kensington. Read More »

Nadine Labaki – Et maintenant on va où? AKA Where Do We Go Now? (2011)

In an isolated Lebanese village, the mosque and the church stand side by side–but religious tension threatens to boil over, particularly as a series of pranks escalates into ever-increasing hostility. The women of the village, both Christian and Muslim, concoct improbable schemes to defuse the tension, including hiring a troupe of Ukrainian belly dancers. Where Do We Go Now? veers back and forth between wrenching drama and cheerful comedy but somehow maintains a balance. Director-actress Nadine Labaki leads her mostly nonprofessional cast with heart and fervor. Read More »

Borhane Alaouié – Lettre d’un temps d’exil AKA Letter from a Time of Exile (1988)

Alaouié presents the stories of four exiles from Beirut. Their only connection is the voice of the narrator and their situation of living in exile in Europe. Told with a subtle humor, the film sketches four highly individual portraits of people, whose lives have taken unexpected turns due to the madness of the Civil War. Read More »

Nadine Labaki – Sukkar banat (2007)

Plot
A romantic comedy centered on the daily lives of five Lebanese women living in Beirut. Layal (Nadine Labaki) works in a beauty salon in Beirut along with 3 other women. Each one has a problem: Layal has a relationship with a married man, Nisrine (Yasmine Al Masri) who is no more a virgin, will soon be married, Rima (Joanna Moukarzel) is lesbian and Jamal (Gisèle Aouad) is worried about getting old. Rose (Sihame Haddad), a tailor with a shop next to the salon, is an old lady who devoted her life to take care of her older sister, have found her first love. Read More »