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.