Face to face with power

The Man with the Golden Soles

Al Rajol Thou Annal’l Azzahabi
L'Homme aux semelles d'or

Omar Amiralay

2000FranceSyria54 minColour


The portrait of the hugely wealthy Lebanese businessman Rafic Hariri, who made his fortune in the Gulf States. Former prime minister of the “reconstruction” who wanted to transform Beirut into a mecca for Arab and Western investors and speculators.

PRINT SOURCE: Roches Noires Productions, xavier.marliangeas@rochesnoiresprod.fr

The living picture of a warm, clever, paternalistic, self-confident and disconcerting character: “I ended up making a film about the turmoil that affected a leftist filmmaker as he drew closer to power; But I take credit for showing him. It’s a film of the braves, a chivalrous dual where you rely on hidden cards”, Amiralay insists. This astonishing portrait, thrown into disarray by the dual gaze between “a filmmaker who hides behind his camera and a man who agrees to open up in front of the camera”, reveals the hidden and subjective aspects of power, and the avatars of a viewpoint that is at least analytical if not critical. “I know I was being dragged into what was a dangerous and enigmatic game for me”, the director concludes. Challenged by his friends, who saw the film being made and accused him of giving the character an overly benevolent image, Amiralay points out: “I wanted to break with an ideological chastity and put an end to this hypocrisy. For me, virtue doesn’t mean abstaining from sin, but on the contrary, coming through it without one’s moral and human integrity being affected.
–Dominique Godrèche (Le Monde diplomatique, April 2001)

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