Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The kite - طيارة من ورق

Trailer for the Kite

The kite (le cerf-volant - طيارة من ورق) has been released on 2003 in Lebanon. It tells a story of young girl who lives in a small druze town in the south of Lebanon near the occupied zone that was controlled by Israel after the 1982 invasion. She was forced to get married to another young boy in a town across the occupied zone. Although the story didn't focus on the Israeli actions during that sad period of occupation, one can easily sense from the film the misery of Lebanese near influence of those occupation forces.
Julia Kassar and Liliane Nemri were great in their acting role. Director Randa Chahal Sabagh successfully reflected the misery of Lebanese near the influence of those Israeli occupation forces without making it as the main subject in the storyline. The film was a drama with a bit of humor every once and then, and having Ziad Rahbani in the movie (even if it was guest star role) gives the film another flavor, while the ending was a bit unexpected.
It's noteworthy that the film collected some 3 awards in the Venice Film Festival 2003, apart some nominations in other film festivals. As its precedents in this blog, watching this movie is strongly recommended.
Waiting Randa Chahal next feature movie ...

Saturday, June 23, 2007

West Beirut - بيروت الغربية

Trailer for West Beirut
Released in 1998, this film was a hit in Lebanon. This was one of the very first films to be produced after the 1975-1990 civil war. Ziad Doueiri the director managed with success to present a movie with great style. You might think that there is some Quentin Tarantino's style, you should not be surprised since Ziad Doueiri was first assistant camera for Pulp Fiction. But he sure made his own style.
The movie was presented during the Directors Fortnight during the Cannes Film Festival 1998 and got some award there. The film got as well the International Critics' Award in Toronto International Film Festival 1998 apart other awards. This alone wont prove that this film is great. All you should do is to watch it yourself and see what I mean.
I simply loved the film, the storyline was great : Teens life during the war. They don't care about religion, and the way they see solution to the problems might be the right solution ... The way he used humor, although the theme was war, touched me: In fact this way the film was showing how Lebanese overcome problems using humor. I loved all actors performance: the beatiful Rola Al Amin (May), Mohamad Chamas (Omar) and all the rest. But I appreciated the most Carmen Lebbos who shows great acting skills in all means. I only question Rami Doueiri's acting (the brother of the director), he wasn't able to make me feel that he's not acting, it wasn't that bad but I felt something was wrong, but I'm not sure about that neither, maybe the director wanted to give this teenager this kind of character. Even though the overall result was more than satisfying. This film is a must see movie for all lebanese.