Saturday, May 9, 2009

Beirut Diaries - يوميات بيروت

a screenshot from Beirut Diaries

Mai Masri is a remarkable talented director. Her commitment to emphasize on the civil community in the Arab world shines in the documentaries. I'll devote this post to her award winning feature that focuses on the Lebanese youth during the Independence Intifada (unlike to what Western media entitled it!). She focuses on the journey of a young Lebanese girl, Nadine, who was camping in the city center after the tragic death of PM Hariri. The young people were shown vibrant, full of hope and determinant. Despite not belonging to the same political movement, they managed to gather together, and even, with the help of Nadine, get others from opposition to visit the camps where the sit-in was taking place to discuss their different ideas. But soon the mirage fades away, and the youngs start to realize that they were betrayed by politicians who gave orders to dismantle the tents as soon as they achieved their goals, while the objectives of those who were building the true core of the intifada for weeks are far away from being achieved, hence revealing the "truth and lies" behind politics in Lebanon.
Masri's works are very educational and enjoyable. Her unique way in documenting historic events goes beyond the shell unlike TV news reports and other media which rely on lazy journalism. I hope the documentaries of Mai Masri will be broadcasted locally for Lebanese to wash away the political blindness from their eyes, and internationally to wash away the stereotypical image of the people in our region of the world portrayed by Western media.


arozenJewel said...

Hello! I hope this message finds you well! My name is Dillon, I am an American who recently moved to New Zealand, and have started working at an incredible Lebanese Restaurant. I enjoy it so much, and the experience, that I have been thinking of ideas on how to bring more audience and customers to our shop. I want to present a few things to the owner, and one of the being Lebanese Films that we could show on a large Flat Screen. I would love to ask for a few recommendations! Thank you!

Dillon P

Lebanese said...

Hi Dillon,

I appreciate your interest in Lebanese movies. As I'm not sure about the type of audience you may have in the restaurant, I would suggest the following movies:
* Caramel,
* Bosta,
* Une chanson dans la tête.

You may like to watch them before you take my opinion for granted.
I hope that this will help.

Best Luck! (And tell me whenever this works)

lebanese from diaspora said...

Its really shameful that Hany Tamba is featured in the Jerusalem Film Festival promoted by Israeli government and municipality. His film is featured as a "lebanese" film!!! Does Mr. Tamba knows that Israel forbids and repressed any attempt by the palestinian authorities to celebrate any cultural act in Jerusalem, specially considering this city as cultural capital of Arab World??

Lebanese said...

Dear Lebanese from diaspora,
I agree with you that Arabs should boycott Israel economically and culturally, as long as it remains an occupying force, organizing and engaging regularly in Apartheid actions against Palestinians.
But when I find some prominent Palestinian directors like Elia Suleiman showing their films in this holy city, one should consider this as a way to sneak the Arabic culture into the city despite Israel refusal. That's only my opinion, but it's subject to discussion.

Reeshiez said...

I just came across your blog. Love it! Keep doing what you are doing. I am excited to see many of the movies that you have discussed. Unfortunately I have only seen a few of them - "The Kite", "Under the Bombs", "Caramel" and "West Beirut". I really want to watch the others and I was wondering if you could recommend a place I can buy them from.

Lebanese said...

Thank you Reeshiez! I am really glad of your interest in watching Lebanese films, and looking forward to hearing your comments on any Lebanese movie.
As for the place to buy those movies, unfortunately there is no one store where you may find them, and depending on your country the availability of those movies may differ. I found some on Amazon, fnac, Virgin, ...

Brazilian said...

I LOVED this movie. It's really about truth and lies. Unfortunately, most of the democratic systems of the world are subject to manipulation and a high dosage of disappointment. Lots of times I feel myself just like Nadine, in this movie...

Anyway, carry on with this wonderful blog. I love your suggestions, and am eager to watch them (unfortunately, some films are way too hard to find in Brazil).

Kind compliments from your brother country Brazil.