The Middle East

(Baddi Chouf )

Joana Hadjithomas, Khalil Joreige
France 2008 | 75 Min. | 35 mm, OmeU
July 2006. A war breaks out in Lebanon. A new war, but not just one more war. A war that crush­es the hopes of peace and the momen­tum of our … read more


Paul Smaczny
Germany 2005 | 114 Min. | DigiBeta, OmU
Daniel Baren­boim and the West-East­ern Divan Orches­tra Togeth­er musi­cian Daniel Baren­boim and Pales­tin­ian lit­er­ary the­o­rist Edward Said pur­sued the seem­ing­ly utopi­an idea of peace­ful coex­is­tence in the Middle East. The … read more

(Milh hadha al-bahr )

Annemarie Jacir
Palestine 2008 | 109 Min. | DigiBeta, OmeU
Born and raised in Brook­lyn, 28-year-old Soraya decides to travel for the first time to the land her rel­a­tives were forced to leave behind in 1948: Pales­tine. She is bloom­ing … read more

(Semaan Bil Day'ia )

Simon El Habre
Lebanon 2008 | 86 Min. | BetaSP, OmeU

Semaan El Habre, the filmmaker’s uncle, is the sole inhab­i­tant of the vil­lage of Ain El-Hala­zoun. In 1982, the civil war in Lebanon forced the vil­lagers to leave; their houses were destroyed in the con­flict. Only Semaan has returned for good. For the past five years he has been living in a house sur­round­ed by ruins, with only his ani­mals and his mem­o­ries for com­pa­ny. The scars left by the war are not imme­di­ate­ly obvi­ous. At first sight, life in the desert­ed ghost vil­lage seems rather idyl­lic: a snow-cov­ered moun­tain panora­ma, a small farm, a con­tent man who loves his cows and who always has a humor­ous remark on the tip of his tongue. Only grad­u­al­ly do the scars inflict­ed by the war come to the sur­face: in the scenery, the his­to­ry of the El Habre family and in Semaan’s per­son­al life. Each story in the film pro­vides a glimpse of the his­to­ry of Lebanon and the sit­u­a­tion of a coun­try half-way between for­get­ting and remem­ber­ing. A film in which horror and beauty, pain and poetry are side by side. An unob­tru­sive reflec­tion on ori­gins, ties forged with places and people, the con­se­quences of war and the attempt to accept painful mem­o­ries as part of one’s life.