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 generation. We no longer know what to write, what stories to recount, what images to show. We ask ourselves: what can cinema do? That question, we decide to translate it into reality. We go to Beirut with an icon, an actress who, to us, symbolizes cinema, Catherine Deneuve. She will meet our preferred actor, Rabih Mroué. Together, they will drive through the regions devastated by the conflict. Through their presence, their meeting, we hope to find the beauty which our eyes no longer perceive. It is the beginning of an unpredictable, unexpected adventure.
Joana Hadjithomas Khalil Joreige
(Beirut, Lebanon, 1969) directed films presented and awarded at various international film festivals. Their works have been exhibited in galleries and museums. With the latest feature Memory Box (2021) they participated in competition at the Berlinale, while with their debut film A Perfect Day (2005) they won the Fipresci award in Locarno and with the subsequent Je veux voir (2008) they participated at the Certain Regard section in Cannes. Their documentary The Lebanese Rocket Society: The Strange Tale of The Lebanese Space Race (2012) won first prize at the Doha Tribeca Festival. Several retrospectives of their films have been presented in institutions such as Cinematek in Brussels, the Lincoln Center, the MoMA and the Flaherty Seminar in New York, the Tate Modern in London, Paris Cinéma, the Institut Français and the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, the Harvard Film Archive, the Locarno, Nyon and Gijon festivals, while in 2017 their installation On Unconformities was awarded the prestigious Marcel Duchamp Prize. Their artworks are part of major private and public collections including British Museum, Center Pompidou, Fond national d'art contemporain, MCA Chicago, Solomon R. Guggenheim and Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Hadjithomas and Joreige are the authors of numerous publications namely The Rumors of The World: Rethinking Trust in the Age of the Internet (2015) e Two Suns in a Sunset (2016). They are often invited as university lecturers in Lebanon and Europe. Both artists are co-founders of the production company Abbout Productions with Georges Schoucair, as well as executive members of Metropolis Art Cinema and the Cinemathèque in Beirut.
Al Bayt al Zaher (Around the Pink House, doc, 1999), Khiam (doc, mm, 2000), Barmeh (Rounds, cm, 2001), Al Film Al Mafkoud (The Lost Film, doc, mm, 2003), Ramad (Ashes, cm, 2003), Yawmoun akhar (A Perfect Day, 2005), Open the Door, Please (ep. del film Enfances, cm, 2006), Khiam 2000-2007 (doc, 2008), Je veux voir (2008), The Lebanese Rocket Society, The Strange Tale of the Lebanese Space Race (doc, 2012), Ismyrna (doc, mm, 2016), Memory Box (2021).
“On July 2006, during the war with Israel that broke out in Lebanon, we were stuck in Paris. For the first time, we were living the war at a distance, as spectators. The war was a real upheaval. It wasn’t just any war, or one more war. By plunging us again in a cycle of violence it crowned an historic evolution and was part of a more global division of the world, made more radical by 9/11. Beyond the conflict as such, the 2006 war deepened the unrest in Lebanon, the internal tensions, the antagonist projects splitting the population. Once again, we were confronted with the difficulty of having to live side by side. We badly wanted to do a film on this war but we were full of questions: In the face of a very violent war, of the spectacular images of television, what kind of images could we produce?”