UN CŒUR PERDU ET AUTRES RÊVES DE BEYROUTH
Boys dive, cats moan, an old lady smokes, a guardian of the dead sighs, young people dance. They are the people of a ghost town: Beirut, which exists only in dreams.
Beirut: boys diving from rocks, the corniche and the sea with its reassuringly eternal presence, the Palestinian camps where cats wail the malaise of confinement, the popular beach, the horn-happy drivers and the festive evenings where the young people dance to forget themselves. Does this post-war Beirut really continue to exist? Or are these images the last traces that can still be remembered, as the city collapses? For although cinema retains the worrying sadness of a city still standing, despite everything, its inhabitants know only too well. In daytime, they walk with dignity, but their nights speak of loss, engulfment, violence and anger. So no need to show Beirut port and its surroundings devasted by the August 2020 explosion, adding even more chaos to the political and economic chaos in which Beirut was still trying to survive; no need to show the demonstrations and signs of revolt and despair that have traversed the city since 2019. Individual dreams are not inner personal disorders, but the shared suffering of all those who are struggling with a Beirut whose life blood is being sucked away by death. A suffering that flows from the outside-in, fills bodies and minds and overflows. Isn’t this what rises to the surface in each shot, always fixed and restless? Isn’t it what underlies the seeming banality of the scenes, coloured with a discreet strangeness?
Maya Abdul-Malak, born in Beirut in 1980, is a French-Lebanese director. She also works as a scriptwriter on fiction films and collaborated in the writing of several documentaries in Lebanon and in France. Her first documentary film, Au pays qui te ressemble (Kazak Productions, 52′), won the Persona documentary prize and the CNC quality prize in 2010. His second film Des hommes debout (Macalube films, 55′), selected in many festivals, obtained the Ogawa Shinsuke Grand Prize at the Yamagata International Documentary Festival (YIDFF) in 2015. Un coeur perdu et autres rêves de Beyrouth is his third film.
Macalube Films (Anne-Catherine Witt)
Tatiana El Dahdah, Josefina Rodriguez, Emmanuel Croset
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